News and Press Releases

President of Miami Medical Clinic Sentenced on Health Care Fraud Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), announce yesterday’s sentencing of defendant Arbilio Yanes on Medicare fraud and related offenses. U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga sentenced Yanes to 151 months in prison.

Yanes previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and to pay health care kickbacks, health care fraud, payment of health care kickbacks, and money laundering.

According to the statements made in court at the plea hearing and sentencing and evidence presented at the plea hearing, Yanes was the president and one of two owners of Research Center (Research Center) of Florida, Inc., a purported medical clinic located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Between October 13, 2003 and November 5, 2004, Research Center submitted claims to Medicare for $21,043,982, almost exclusively for purported treatment of HIV-positive Medicare beneficiaries for the administration of prescription drugs. Based on these claims, Medicare paid Research Center $11,098,388.93. In fact, Research Center personnel generally administered smaller doses of the medications than the clinic billed in its claims, or offered no treatment at all.

To execute the scheme, Yanes paid more than $1.6 million to shell companies controlled by outside patient recruiters. Those shell companies did no business with Research Center, but the recruiters located Medicare beneficiaries who were willing to attend Research Center as purported patients and paid the beneficiaries to do so. Yanes also paid himself more than $1.3 million in profits from the scheme. Of that sum, Yanes paid more than $650,000 to two shell companies he controlled, which did no business with Research Center.

After being interviewed by FBI agents in October 31, 2008 in connection with this scheme, Yanes moved to Brazil. He was prosecuted after being extradited back to the United States.

Efren Mendez, the vice-president of Research Center; Damian Beltran, a medical assistant at the clinic, and Barbara Perez and Caridad Perez, patient recruiters for the clinic, all previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in related cases.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and HHS-OIG. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Osborne.

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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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