The co-owner of American Therapeutic Corp., a 40 year old Miami woman, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison and ordered her and her associates to pay back $87 million in restitution. This Medicare fraud sentence comes close on the heels of the 50 year sentence received by fellow owner Lawrence Duran last week. The woman pleaded guilty to 21 felony counts for her role in operating the mental health company.
Criminal sentences have been growing steadily more severe in nonviolent cases. White collar crime sentences may be reaching a peak as anger over the economic downturn is focused on people charged with financial crimes. A prominent case involving a convicted hedge fund executive could lead to the longest sentence ever recorded if federal prosecutors get their way.
Lawmakers, investigators and judges are pushing harder than ever to show that they are dedicated to punishing people convicted of health care fraud. The latest example involved a health care executive in Miami who was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for Medicare fraud. The sentence is 20 years longer than any other sentence given in connection to Medicare fraud. The judge made it clear that it was his intent to provide a deterrent against healthcare fraud in South Florida, an area long regarded as the primary hot spot for fraudulent Medicare claims.
A federal grand jury has indicted Robert Falor, former chief operator and manager of The Falor Companies, on charges of tax evasion. Prosecutors are saying that he failed to pay more than 1.75 million in federal taxes over a three-year period.
A yearlong investigation by local and federal law enforcement has resulted in 49 people being arrested and charged with stealing identities (social security numbers and date of birth) and using them to obtain fraudulent tax refunds.