Federal authorities are very serious about healthcare-related fraud. As a result, the penalties in these cases can be very severe. Even defendants who participated only on the edges of a scheme can face hefty prison sentences.
Earlier this year, a Miami couple pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud in a deal with prosecutors. Based on the plea deal, a federal judge sentenced the couple to prison last week. Prosecutors accused the couple of committing health care fraud by submitting $45 million in false claims.
A federal district court judge sentenced the owner of a Lauderhill healthcare facility to 30 months in prison for his participation in a Medicare kickback scheme. Receiving payments in exchange for Medicare referrals is a form of healthcare fraud.