The owners and operators of a Lakeland, Florida, physical therapy business have been sentenced in federal court. The pair pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit health care fraud for their roles in submitting more than $750,000 in fraudulent Medicare claims. The men were sentenced to 42 months and 46 months in prison. They were also ordered to pay restitution and will be subject to supervised release for up to three years after serving their sentences.
A New York hospital reached an agreement with federal prosecutors to pay roughly $13.4 million to avoid a trial. The hospital was facing charges that it made more than 2,000 fraudulent Medicaid claims in connection with its detoxification and drug treatment programs. The false claims generated over $9 million in Medicaid payments from the federal government. Health care professionals and medical facilities all over the country are facing increased scrutiny as government officials address problems with the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The Federal Trade Commission received as many complaints of identity theft in the first six months of 2011 as they did in all of 2010. Many of the stolen identities were used to commit tax fraud by filing income tax returns and collecting the refund from the IRS. More than half of the reports regarding stolen Social Security numbers originated in South Florida. Investigators have termed the upward trend as "alarming" and are struggling deal with this form of white collar crime.
The September 18 blog detailed the case against a Miami executive who was accused of making $205 million in false Medicare claims as co-owner of American Therapeutic Corp. He was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for Medicare fraud. Prosecutors are drawing attention to a new wrinkle that drew their attention in the case against the man and his company. He is said to have undertaken significant lobbying efforts in Washington to make it easier to obtain money through fraud.
The second quarter numbers are in and Palm Beach County passed Broward and Miami-Dade counties to move into sixth place nationally in reported mortgage fraud. Florida as a whole moved into second position, behind only California in mortgage fraud reports per capita. The report reflects the increased efforts by financial institutions and federal law enforcement officials to catch and prosecute people suspected of real estate fraud.
Federal prosecutors have charged 20 South Florida residents in one of the largest indictments in recent memory. The group, made up of mostly professionals in the real estate and banking industries, faces charges for their alleged participation in a massive mortgage fraud scheme. Each member of the group faces multiple charges. Each charge carries a potential penalty of 30 years in federal prison.