News and Press Releases

FORMER PRESIDENT AND OWNER OF ATENAS MEDICAL EQUIPMENT, INC. CONVICTED OF HEALTH CARE FRAUD CHARGES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 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 the conviction of defendant Maria A. Aloise, 41, of Miami-Dade County, on health care fraud charges.

On February 1, 2010, following a six-day trial, a federal jury in Miami found Aloise guilty of ten counts of health care fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347. According to evidence presented during the trial, Aloise was the president and owner of Atenas Medical Equipment, Inc., a Hialeah-based company that purportedly provided durable medical equipment (“DME”) to Medicare beneficiaries.

From the summer of 2006 until the spring of 2007, Atenas Medical Equipment submitted approximately $1,421,346 in fraudulent claims to Medicare seeking reimbursement for various types of DME. The DME included items used in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, such as oxygen concentrators; the treatment of incontinence, such as urinary leg bags; and DME used to treat other illnesses. The DME had not been legitimately prescribed by health care providers and had not been provided to Medicare patients.

The defendant executed her fraud scheme using forged prescriptions, certificates of medical necessity, and delivery receipts. She also fraudulently used identifying information of numerous Medicare beneficiaries and physicians.

Aloise faces a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment on each of the health care fraud counts. Sentencing is scheduled for April 2, 2010, before U.S. District Court Judge Adalberto Jordan.

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 is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Hunter.

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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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