A person can face serious consequences if they are convicted of Medicare fraud. What specific sentence a person in this circumstance will face can be influenced by a variety of factors. One of these factors is the monetary amount of the fraud the person was convicted of. This can be seen in a recent Medicare fraud case from Florida.
The case involves a 49-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman who owned a health care company. The company reportedly ran seven mental health centers.
Authorities claim that the company was engaged in a fraud scheme which stole millions from Medicare. The company allegedly fraudulently billed Medicare for treatments that patients of its mental health centers didn't need and paid kickbacks to recruiters in order to get Medicare patients sent to the centers.
The two owners faced charges for money laundering, Medicare fraud conspiracy and paying kickbacks in connection to this alleged scheme. The two pled guilty to these charges last Thursday.
However, there is one issue that has not yet been resolved in regards to this case. This issue is the monetary amount of the fraud scheme. The two owners claim that this number should be based on how much money Medicare actually paid to the company, while the prosecution argues that this number should be based on how much money the company billed Medicare for. Reportedly, the difference between these two numbers is over $100 million.
This issue will reportedly be decided at the owners' sentencing hearing. According to the Miami Herald, which number is ultimately picked could impact what sentences the two owners receive.
Thus, this case demonstrates how the monetary amount of a Medicare fraud scheme can be a factor in the sentencing of those who are found guilty of being part of the scheme. It also illustrates how impactful a sentencing hearing can be on those who are convicted of a Medicare fraud crime. Thus, presenting strong arguments during a sentencing hearing can be very important.
Source: The Miami Herald, "Couple pleads guilty in massive Medicare fraud case," Jay Weaver, 14 Apr 2011