News and Press Releases

Miami Husband and Wife Sentenced on Medicare Fraud Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 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 Lazaro Prat and Lisette Lopez Prat, husband and wife, both from Miami, on Medicare fraud and money laundering charges. Lazaro Prat was convicted of conspiring to defraud Medicare and conspiring to launder Medicare fraud proceeds. Lisette Lopez Prat was convicted of conspiring with her husband and others to launder the proceeds of Medicare fraud.

U.S. District Chief Judge Federico A. Moreno sentenced Prat to 137 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Prat was also ordered to pay $15,401,099 in restitution to the Medicare system. Judge Moreno sentenced Lopez Prat to 48 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

According to documents filed with the court, Prat controlled three pharmacies through nominees, including his wife Lopez Prat, from 2003 through 2008. Prat submitted fraudulent bills to Medicare for durable medical equipment that was not prescribed by a doctor, not medically necessary, and not provided to the Medicare beneficiaries. Lopez Prat wrote millions dollars in checks to companies controlled by Prat and $1.4 million in checks to herself. Prat used the proceeds to acquire properties and to fund his construction company, Rosy Construction, Inc.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and HHS-OIG. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Morales.

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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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