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Ohio man under 9 arrested in Florida for alleged health care fraud targeting elderly

Ohio man under 9 arrested in Florida for alleged health care fraud targeting elderly

DOJ (File)Ohio man under 9 arrested in Florida for alleged health care fraud targeting elderly
DOJ (File)

Nine individuals now face federal charges in the Middle District of Florida (MDFL) for their alleged roles in fraud schemes designed to serve the elderly and disabled, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg.

The MDFL cases are part of a strategically coordinated, two-week nationwide law enforcement response that resulted in criminal charges against 193 defendants for their alleged participation in health care fraud and opioid abuse, resulting in the filing of more than $2.75 billion in alleged false invoices.

The suspects allegedly committed fraud with programs for the care of the elderly and disabled to line their own pockets. In connection with the enforcement action, the government seized more than $231 million in cash, luxury vehicles, gold and other assets.

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“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working with our federal, state, and local partners to investigate and prosecute healthcare fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Handberg. “This enforcement action demonstrates my office’s determination, and that of the Department of Justice, to protect these programs and the people who benefit from them from exploitation.”

“It doesn’t matter whether you are a drug trafficker or a corporate executive or medical professional employed by a health care company, if you profit from the unlawful distribution of narcotics, you will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Department of Justice will bring to justice criminals who defraud Americans, steal from taxpayer-funded programs, and endanger people for the sake of profit.”

The Health Care Fraud Unit’s National Rapid Response, Florida, Gulf Coast, Los Angeles, Midwest, Northeast and Texas Strike Forces 32 U.S. Attorney’s Offices are prosecuting the cases as part of the National Enforcement Action, with assistance from the Health Care Data Analytics Care Fraud Unit Team.

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The following individuals have been charged in the Middle District of Florida:

Ma Gracia Cadet, 53, from Kissimmee, Floridawas charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud in connection with an alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $9.3 million in Medicare funds.

According to the information, Cadet, the owner of the companies KGA Medical Supply LLC and Sapphire Medical Supply LLC, submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for DME that were medically unnecessary and ineligible for Medicare reimbursement. Cadet offered and paid illegal kickbacks to her co-conspirators at alleged telemedicine companies in exchange for signed physician orders for medically unnecessary orthotic braces that were ultimately billed to Medicare. The case is being prosecuted by trial attorney Jessica A. Massey of the Florida Strike Force.

Eva LeBeau, 65, from Clearwater, Floridaand Lori Lebrecht, 60, of Largo, Florida, were indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive illegal health care bribes, as well as paying illegal health care bribes to patient recruiters, all in connection with an alleged scheme to refer Medicare beneficiaries to Prestigious Senior Home Health Care, Inc. and to submit false and fraudulent claims totaling more than $2 million for home health care services. LeBeau was the owner of Prestigious and Lebrecht was Prestigious’ director of nursing.

The indictment alleges that LeBeau and Lebrecht conspired to defraud patient recruiters and pay per patient referral that Prestigious billed to Medicare. Medicare paid approximately $1.3 million based on the false and fraudulent claims. The case is being prosecuted by trial attorneys Reginald Cuyler Jr. and Charles D. Strauss of the Florida Strike Force.

Robert Desselle, 46, from Sarasota, Florida was charged by indictment with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive health care kickbacks, and with payment of illegal health care kickbacks, in connection with a scheme to pay illegal health care kickbacks to patient recruiters in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries.

The alleged scheme involved Desselle, through his company Desselle’s Sky High Enterprise, LLC, paying marketers on a per-patient basis to recruit Medicare beneficiaries for cancer genetic testing (“CGx”) that was not medically necessary. As a result of the charged scheme, Medicare paid approximately $4.5 million in CGx claims billed to these beneficiaries. The case is being prosecuted by trial attorney Charles D. Strauss of the Florida Strike Force.

Marques Elijah Green, 29, of Windermere, Floridawas charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud in connection with an alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $3.4 million in Medicare funds.

According to the information, Green, owner of durable medical equipment (“DME”) companies Onyx Medical Supply LLC and AquaMed Supply LLC, caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for DME that were medically unnecessary and ineligible for Medicare reimbursement. Green offered and paid kickbacks to his co-conspirators at alleged telemedicine companies in exchange for signed physician orders for medically unnecessary orthotic braces that were ultimately billed to Medicare. The case is being prosecuted by trial attorney Jessica A. Massey of the Florida Strike Force.

Lisa Williams, 56, from Lithia, Floridawas charged with six counts of tampering with a consumer product and six counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud in connection with the unlawful acquisition and tampering of fentanyl IV bags at a hospital.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Greg Pizzo of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Lawrence Waldman, 57, from Miami, Floridawas charged in an indictment with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to solicit and receive illegal bribes and kickbacks, as well as illegal money transfers, in connection with a scheme to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. As alleged in the indictment, Waldman worked for ASAP Lab, LLC as a sales representative.

Waldman used his position at ASAP to travel throughout the state of Florida and elsewhere to obtain genetic testing and respiratory viral panel test swabs from Medicare beneficiaries. Waldman and his co-conspirators used the test swabs, along with application forms containing forged and unauthorized physician signatures, to obtain approximately $380,000 in illegal kickbacks and kickbacks for causing the submission of false and fraudulent claims for Medicare reimbursement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany E. Fields of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Erin Kim, 54, from Orlando, Floridawas charged with conspiracy to commit narcotics distribution and narcotics distribution, in connection with her role in an unlawful scheme to distribute Adderall and other stimulants. As alleged in the indictment, Kim was a nurse practitioner employed by Done, a California-based digital health company.

During her employment with Done, Kim prescribed Adderall and other stimulants that were not for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice. The indictment further alleges that Kim and others fabricated patient records and signed prescriptions for Adderall and other stimulants where Done patients did not meet required diagnostic criteria for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, where the prescriptions posed a risk of abuse and where the dosages went up beyond what was normally prescribed.

In total, Kim is said to have prescribed more than 1.5 million pills of Adderall and other stimulants, for which she was paid more than $800,000 by Done. Trial attorney Raymond Beckering III of the National Rapid Response Strike Force is prosecuting the case.

Erik Brouwer28, of Lakeland, Florida, was charged with tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud in connection with the unlawful acquisition and tampering of fentanyl IV bags.

As alleged in the indictment, Brewer, a registered nurse who worked in intensive care units, engaged in two similar criminal schemes to divert fentanyl from five different Tampa hospitals on seven separate dates. In the first scheme, which Brewer executed multiple times, Brewer stole fentanyl by removing 100 ml baggies of liquid fentanyl from locked narcotic cabinets but keeping the baggies for himself rather than administering them to patients or returning them. In the second scheme, Brewer used hospital computers to track which patients were receiving fentanyl intravenously, entered those patients’ rooms even when he had no medical reason to do so, and surreptitiously siphoned fentanyl from their IV bags into his own container; Brewer then went to the hospital bathroom, where he injected himself with the stolen fentanyl.

Sometimes Brewer tried to cover up his theft by replacing the fentanyl he had aspirated with an equivalent volume of saline, but sometimes he did not. In both scenarios, however, Brewer’s actions deprived the most vulnerable patients of needed medications. Brewer was caught when coworkers saw him behaving incompetently during a shift, and the person who entered the bathroom immediately after Brewer left found a bloody paper towel and needle. Hospital officials then examined records and videos and discovered Brewer’s pattern of distraction. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Gordon of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Waymon Wallace, 63, of Cincinnati, Ohiowas charged by information with conspiracy to solicit and receive illegal kickbacks and bribes in connection with a scheme to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. Wallace, a licensed physician and an enrolled Medicare provider, agreed to sign laboratory requisition forms for medically unnecessary genetic and respiratory panel tests and to allow his signature to be used on laboratory requisition forms in exchange for cash. Wallace and his co-conspirators caused more than $500,000 in false and fraudulent claims for reimbursement to be submitted to Medicare. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany E. Fields of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

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