WASHINGTON – The owner of a Detroit medical clinic pleaded guilty today for his participation in a Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Juan Villa, 29, of Miami, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow in the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. At sentencing, Villa faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to the plea documents, Villa owned Blessed Medical Clinic in Livonia, Mich. Villa admitted that he hired patient recruiters who paid cash bribes to Medicare beneficiaries to attend the clinic and provide their Medicare numbers and other information. Villa admitted that he used the beneficiary information to bill for medically unnecessary diagnostic tests and treatments. According to court documents, Blessed Medical Clinic fraudulently billed Medicare $2.4 million during the course of the scheme.
Today’s guilty plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade; Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the HHS Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Chicago Regional Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frances Lee Carlson and Philip A. Ross of the Eastern District of Michigan, with assistance from Assistant Chief Gejaa T. Gobena of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Since their inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,190 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $3.6 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.