News and Press Releases

HIV-INFUSION CLINIC OWNERS SENTENCED FOR HEALTH CARE FRAUD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 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, and Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, announced today’s sentencing of defendants Lisset Lombera, 42, and Yamilet Cardenas, 40, of Miami-Dade County, following their guilty plea for conspiring to commit health care fraud.

Today, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Federico A. Moreno sentenced Ms. Lombera to 30 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release; and sentenced Ms. Cardenas to 24 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release. Chief Judge Moreno ordered both defendants to pay restitution of $254,469 to Medicare. Both defendants were immediately remanded into custody to begin serving their sentences.

In November 2009, Ms. Lombera and Ms. Cardenas pled guilty to one count of conspiring to commit health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349.

From February 2006 to December 2006, the defendants, Ms. Lombera and Ms. Cardenas, conspired with Dr. Alberto Gonzalez-Gomez and others to defraud Medicare through the submission of fraudulent claims from an HIV-clinic known as Medley Clinic. Medley Clinic submitted $3,018,400 in fraudulent Medicare claims and was reimbursed $254,469.

In 2006, two cooperating witnesses, posing as recruiters, brought individuals purporting to suffer from HIV-related ailments to the Medley Clinic in exchange for kickbacks from the Clinic. Ms. Lombera and Ms. Cardenas, who controlled Medley Clinic, instructed the individuals complete paperwork, fraudulently claiming that Medley provided them with expensive HIV-related drugs, when, in fact, in most cases, the drugs were neither provided nor medically necessary. In July and August 2006, the cooperating witnesses wore hidden devices that recorded conversations with Ms. Lombera and Ms. Cardenas in which the defendants admitted being aware of the fraud.

Alberto Gonzalez-Gomez was prosecuted separately and was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment.

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney H. Ron Davidson.

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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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