News and Press Releases

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO HEALTH CARE FRAUD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Robert L. Crowder, Sheriff, Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), announce the February 4, 2011 guilty plea of Homero Izquierdo Ruiz, 46, of Miami, Florida. Ruiz has been detained pending trial as a risk of flight.

Today, Ruiz pled guilty to two counts of health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347. Ruiz faces a possible maximum term of imprisonment of ten years. As part of the plea agreement, Ruiz agreed to pay restitution to Medicare and to forfeit approximately $104,959.00.

According to the stipulated factual basis in support of guilty plea filed today, in December of 2009, 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 Ruiz purchased PT&FI, fraudulent billing to Medicare Part A began to occur, especially during July 2010. Medicare records show that PT&FI received approximately $528,094.27 from Medicare from January 3, 2010 through August 13, 2010.

According to the stipulated factual basis, in May of 2010, Ruiz also purchased Ebenezer Medical Services, Inc., (Ebenezer), located in Miami-Dade County. Ebenezer was at one time a pharmacy that received reimbursement from Medicare Part D plan for prescription drugs. However, it was not actually functioning as a pharmacy when Ruiz bought it. Medicare records show that Ebenezer received approximately $587,843.06 from Medicare between May 14, 2010 and August 13, 2010. Sixteen doctors attested that bills submitted by Ebenezer under their names and provider numbers were fraudulent. In addition, four beneficiaries filed complaints that the billings listed prescription drugs that were never issued to them.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the HHS-OIG, the FBI, and the MCSO for their work on this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Diana M. Acosta and Antonia Barnes.

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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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