Florida resident to pay $45 million and serve 80 months

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a Miami business owner will have to repay the federal government $45 million and serve 80 months in jail for her role in a fraudulent Medicare billing scheme. The 59-year-old woman entered a guilty plea and was sentenced in federal court.

The woman reportedly owned two home health care agencies in Miami. She allegedly conspired with others to pay kickbacks to recruiters for referring Medicare recipients to her agencies for home health services. Medicare was then billed for unneeded services, such as physical therapy, diabetes injections and others.

In her guilty plea, the woman admitted that she worked with two co-conspirators to pay bribes and kickbacks to patient recruiters. Her co-conspirators also were charged in the indictment. One of the women entered a guilty plea and was ordered to repay $27 million and serve 60 months in prison. The other woman pled guilty and was ordered to pay $45 million and serve 80 months in prison.

White-collar crime allegations may result in substantial penalties. In addition to serving lengthy prison sentences, people that are convicted of the charges may also be ordered to pay millions of dollars. Individuals who learn that they are the subject of investigations might benefit by getting help from experienced white-collar criminal defense lawyers before they are indicted. In some cases, experienced attorneys may be able to negotiate deals with the prosecutors in which the prosecutors agree not to charge their clients in exchange for the payment of restitution. If charges have already been filed, lawyers may review the evidence against their clients and try to identify problems with the state's cases against them. In an effort to obtain favorable offers, attorneys may then choose to negotiate with the prosecutors.

Source: South Florida Business Journal, "Miami resident sentenced in a $45 million Medicare fraud conspiracy," Keith Larsen, Nov. 27, 2017.

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