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Charges filed in alleged Medicare scam

In an indictment that was unsealed this past Friday, a man was formally accused of committing $27 million in Medicare fraud across a six-year period. The man, 62, has now been charged with aiding and abetting, conspiracy, money laundering and health care fraud. The man's business partner, 64, faces the same set of charges. Both have been arrested by federal authorities.

The affidavit filed in the case alleges that they wilfully defrauded Medicare in collusion with co-conspirators. Those other conspirators have yet to be publicly named.

The document claims that the two defendants ordered nurses to run a series of "wellness clinics." These would be put on at a range of assisted-living facilities, such as senior housing centers. The apparent goal was to find a significant number of people who were eligible for Medicare.

Once the defendants determined which people were eligible, they would allegedly get the people to sign up for services provided by a company one of the defendants owned. That company would then claim that those people were homebound so that Medicare would pay for the services. However, if the allegations are accurate, the patients were not actually homebound.

Authorities further claim that the defendants falsified a variety of nursing visit reports. The falsified reports reportedly allowed the company to charge Medicare for services that were never performed or received. Authorities also allege that nurses working for the defendants were discouraged from discharging patients even when patients requested it.

In addition to pursuing charges, authorities are seeking to seize cash in the defendants' personal bank accounts and the assets of the company implicated in the case.

Medicare fraud affects everyone involved. It is important to thoroughly review the facts of cases like this one, to make sure that everything comes to light. No matter what the charges, the defendants deserve a fair and balanced trial, as well as the to appeal unfavorable verdict.

Source:  MetroWest Daily News, "Natick man and partner charged with scamming Medicare" Norman Miller, Sep. 20, 2013

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