Frank A. Rubino , ESQ.

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Obstruction charge faced in Medicare case

A Florida grand jury has just indicted the former chief executive officer of a health care system. The charge the indictment makes is that the man is complicit in a Medicare fraud case. Authorities contend that he obstructed the federal investigation that was looking into malfeasance at a national hospital chain where he had worked.

The indictment was issued from the U.S. District Court located in Fort Myers, Florida. It accuses the defendant in this case of having falsified, altered or destroyed records. Those records pertain to the investigation into financial fraud allegations against the health management company he had worked for before getting his recent CEO position.

He was brought into that CEO position due to his management expertise. However, he went on leave for personal reasons and has since left the company altogether. The company issued an official statement affirming his departure.

After being charged, the defendant surrendered and pleaded not guilty. He was required to post a $250,000 bond, which he did. His next step is a status conference on December 9 in Fort Myers at the U.S. District Court. The trial is scheduled for January.

If convicted, he would face a sentence of up to 20 years. Currently, the one charge to be addressed is the one about his destruction, falsification or alteration of records. However, the U.S. Attorney said that additional charges are anticipated within 45 days.

Medicare fraud cases are common in Florida. Each case is unique, with a wide variety of factors that could potentially demonstrate the innocence or mitigate the culpability of those accused. Criminal defense attorneys can provide valuable insight and advice into these cases and will work vigorously to protect the rights of their clients.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Former Steward executive faces obstruction charge" Robert Weisman, Nov. 26, 2013

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