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Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer > Blog > Federal Crime > Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud Medicare of Over $36.2 Million

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud Medicare of Over $36.2 Million


Health care fraud is big business for federal prosecutors here in Florida. Anyone suspected of defrauding Medicare or Medicaid can expect the full weight of the U.S. Department of Justice to come crashing down on them. Indeed, conviction of a health care fraud-related crime not only carries the potential for serious jail time–the government can also seize any property they consider proceeds of the underlying fraud.

U.S. Attorney: Defendant Used Kickbacks to Obtain Medically Unnecessary Prescriptions

For instance, the United States Attorney’s Office here in Central Florida recently announced that a Fort Lauderdale man charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud agreed to plead guilty. The defendant faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, although the actual sentence is likely to be far less. He must also forfeit over $6.3 million in assets to the government.

According to a criminal information filed in Jacksonville federal court on March 12, 2024, the defendant and several unidentified co-conspirators owned and operated seven pharmacies that mailed prescription drugs to Medicare beneficiaries in Florida and other parts of the country. The conspirators then used various telemarketing companies to contact Medicare Part D beneficiaries to offer them “prescription drugs at no cost” but that were not medically necessary. The government said the defendant then paid “illegal kickbacks and bribes” to the telemarketing companies, which were concealed by “sham contracts and agreements.”

The conspiracy also allegedly involved tele-medicine companies. The government said that medical professionals working for these companies also received illegal bribes and kickbacks in exchange for writing sham prescriptions for items that “had a relatively high rate of reimbursement from Medicare,” such as pain medicines and antifungal drugs. According to the U.S. Attorney, these tele-medicine professionals issued the prescriptions without first establishing a legitimate patient-prescriber relationship with the Medicare beneficiary.

Altogether, the Information alleged the defendant’s scheme led Medicare to pay $36,246,251 in false and fraudulent prescription drug claims. Under the defendant’s guilty plea, he agreed to forfeit $6,341,240.58 in property to the United States. This includes five pieces of real estate in Florida, two jet skis, 17 items of jewelry, and his ownership interests in two limited liability companies that were used as part of the illegal scheme. A federal judge will impose a final sentence, including any prison term, sometime later in 2024.

Contact the Joshi Law Firm Today

Medicare fraud is a more commonly prosecuted federal crime than you might realize. Indeed, not every such case is as elaborate as the one described above. If a doctor or health care provider simply makes a mistake when issuing an invoice to Medicare, that can be enough to trigger a criminal investigation.

So if you are under suspicion of, or charged with, Medicare or similar fraud related to health care, you must be prepared to defend yourself in court. Your first step should be to speak with an Orlando federal criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in white collar offenses such as fraud. Contact the Joshi Law Firm, P.A., today to schedule a free consultation.



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