MIAMI-DADE COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO HEALTH CARE FRAUD
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent-in-Charge of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations Miami Regional Office; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office and Robert L. Crowder, Sheriff, Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), announced the May 17, 2011 sentencing of Homero Izquierdo Ruiz, 46, of Miami, Florida.
Izquierdo Ruiz was sentenced to a 39-month term of imprisonment, concurrently, on two counts of health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347. On these charges, Izquierdo Ruiz faced a possible maximum term of imprisonment of ten years. In addition to the terms of imprisonment, Izquierdo Ruiz received a three year period of supervised release; was ordered to pay restitution to Medicare in the amount of $1,045,977.72, and to forfeit his interest in $104,959.00 to the United States.
According to the stipulated factual basis in support of the guilty plea, the defendant purchased Physical Therapy and Fitness (PT&FI), located in Martin County. PT&FI was a physical therapy outpatient clinic that received reimbursement from Medicare Part A for the treatment of patients referred by physicians for physical therapy. Once the defendant purchased PT&FI, fraudulent billing to Medicare Part A began to occur, especially during the month of July 2010. Medicare records show that PT&FI received a total of approximately $528,094.27 in reimbursement from Medicare beginning on January 3, 2010 through August 13, 2010.
In addition, according to the stipulated factual basis, in May of 2010, the defendant purchased Ebenezer Medical Services, Inc., (Ebenezer) located in Miami Dade, which was a “pharmacy” that received reimbursement from Medicare Part D plan for prescription drugs. At one time, Ebenezer qualified as a pharmacy, but when the Defendant purchased the “business,” Ebenezer was not actually functioning as a pharmacy. Medicare records show that approximately $587,843.06 was paid to Ebenezer from May 14, 2010 through August 13, 2010. Sixteen doctors provided “attestation” letters stating that the items billed by Ebenezer under their names and National Provider Identification (NPI) numbers were billed in a false manner. In addition, four beneficiaries filed complaints that the billing listed prescription drugs that were never issued to them.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Martin County Sheriff’s Office for their work on this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana M. Acosta and Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonia Barnes.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.