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MIAMI RESIDENT CHARGED IN $55 MILLION MEDICARE FRAUD SCHEME; SPENT $4.8 MILLION ON EXOTIC CARS, JEWELRY, AND HORSES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2010

Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, Amos Rojas, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami Regional Operations Center, Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and Daniel W. Auer, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, announced that defendant Ihosvany Marquez, of Miami-Dade County, was arraigned today on an Indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud, Medicare fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft. Another defendant, Michel De Jesus Huarte, was indicted for a closely related Medicare fraud scheme in September 2009, and pled guilty in November 2009.

The Indictment alleges that Marquez, together with Michel De Jesus Huarte and other unnamed conspirators, operated and controlled seven purported medical clinics in Miami- Dade and Orange counties. These clinics were Zigma Medical Care, Inc., Tender Loving Care Medical Center, Inc., Professional Medical Health, Inc., Metro Med Care, Inc., San Diego Medical & Rehab Center, Inc., Eulogia's Diagnostic Medical Center, Inc., and Stop Injury Medical Center, Inc. According to the Indictment, these clinics submitted at least $55 million in false claims to Medicare for infusion therapy, injection therapy, and other expensive medical treatments designed to treat Medicare beneficiaries suffering from a wide variety of ailments, including cancer, HIV, AIDS, chronic pain, and varicose veins. Based on these fraudulent claims, Medicare paid Marquez and his conspirators approximately $21.6 million.

According to the charges, to conceal their involvement in the scheme, Marquez and his conspirators recruited nominee or “straw” owners for each company, and paid them large sums of cash to sign the corporate records, bank records, and other business documents before fleeing the country to avoid arrest. One such nominee owner, Madelin Machado of Zigma Medical, was indicted in the Southern District of Florida in January 2008 (Case No. 08-20033-HUCK), and remains a fugitive today.

Earlier today, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry L. Garber ordered Marquez be detained pending trial. During the pretrial detention hearing, the United States stated that Marquez used $2.7 million of Medicare fraud proceeds to purchase numerous luxury and exotic cars, including a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Lamborghini Murcielago, a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, two (2) Bentley Continental GTs, two (2) Mercedes Benz CL63s, and at least six (6) Mercedes Benz S550s. The United States further proffered that Marquez spent more than $500,000 on jewelry, and more than $1million on horses during 2007 and 2008. The United States further proffered that Marquez did not have any reported wages or earnings in the State of Florida, and therefore could not have made such expenditures with legitimate funds.

An Indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan Stumphauzer and Daniel Bernstein.

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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.

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