News and Press Releases

MIAMI MAN SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS IN PRISON FOR CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT HEALTH CARE FRAUD AND AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2010

Wifredo Ferrer, 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, Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, announced today’s sentencing of defendant Jhon Barcelo, 30, of Miami, on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1349 Section 1028A(a)(1), respectively.

Chief U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno sentenced Barcelo to 14 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay $13,352,101 in restitution.

According to a statement of facts filed with the court during the plea hearing, the defendant and a co-defendant operated a scheme to defraud Medicare. To execute the scheme, the defendant and others purchased pharmacies in the names of others, called nominees, and then submitted millions of dollars in false claims to Medicare. The defendants paid the nominees for allowing the use of their names. In return, the nominees agreed that they would leave the country to avoid detection by law enforcement.

According to the statement of facts filed with the court, corporate documents and bank accounts listed the nominees as the owners, when, in fact, the defendant and his co-defendant were the true owners of the pharmacies and bank accounts. The defendant and his co-defendant were the true owners of four separate pharmacies that submitted false claims to Medicare: AC Pharmacy Inc., ASIS Pharmacy Inc., and Paradise Pharmacy Inc., all in Miami-Dade County, and Allswell Medical Supply Inc., in Doraville, Georgia. The defendant also owned Prudential Health Care Center Inc. and R&P Medical Group. Through these pharmacies, the defendant caused the submission of claims to Medicare for services that had not been rendered. In total, the defendant caused the submission of approximately $42,746,689 in fraudulent claims to Medicare, on which Medicare paid $13,352,101.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and HHS-OIG. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Bernstein and 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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