United States v. Perez et al. (Rural Hospitals)
PENDING CRIMINAL DIVISION CASES
United States v. Perez et al. (Rural Hospitals)
Court Docket No. 3:20-cr-86 (M.D. Florida)
Court Assigned: This case is assigned to Judge Timothy J. Corrigan, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, United States Courthouse, 300 North Hogan Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202.
A status conference is set for February 14, 2024 at 2:00 PM before Judge Timothy J. Corrigan.
On December 15, 2023, defendants Jorge Perez, Ricardo Perez, Sean Porter, James F. Porter, and Nestor Rojas were sentenced by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida:
Defendant Jorge Perez was sentenced to 100 months of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Defendant Ricardo Perez was sentenced to 75 months of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Defendant Sean Porter was sentenced to 3 years of probation, with the first six (6) months to be served in home confinement as a condition of probation.
Defendant James F. Porter was sentenced to 5 years of probation, with the first two (2) years to be served in home confinement as a condition of probation.
Defendant Nestor Rojas, was sentenced to 3 years of probation.
A determination of restitution will be made at a later date.
On March 21, 2023, a federal jury acquitted defendants Aaron Durall, Christian Fletcher, Neisha Zaffuto, and Aaron Alonzo of the charges alleged in the superseding indictment.
On January 5, 2023, defendant James F. Porter, Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and defendant Sean Porter pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
On June 27, 2022 a jury found defendants Jorge Perez and Ricardo Perez guilty on counts 1, 2-6 and 8 of the superseding indictment.
On April 21, 2022, defendant Nestor Rojas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.
Criminal Charges: Ten individuals were charged in an alleged pass-through billing scheme in which rural hospitals in several states were used as billing shells to submit fraudulent claims for laboratory testing. The defendants include:
1) Jorge Perez
2) Ricardo Perez
3) Aaron Durall
4) Neisha Zaffuto
5) Christian Fletcher
6) James Porter Jr.
7) Sean Porter
8) Aaron Alonzo
9) Nestor Rojas
10) Seth Guterman
The superseding indictment alleges that from approximately November 2015 through February 2018, the conspirators billed private insurance companies approximately $1.4 billion for laboratory testing claims as part of this fraudulent scheme and were paid approximately $400 million.
The superseding indictment alleges that the conspirators would take over small, rural hospitals, often in financial trouble, using management companies they owned and operated. The conspirators would then bill private insurance companies through those rural hospitals for millions of dollars of expensive urinalysis drug tests and blood tests, conducted mostly at outside laboratories they often controlled or were affiliated with, using billing companies that they also controlled. While outside laboratories did most of these laboratory tests, the conspirators allegedly billed private insurance companies as if these laboratory tests were done at the rural hospitals. In addition, the superseding indictment alleges that the lab tests were often not even medically necessary. The indictment also alleges that the conspirators engaged in sophisticated money laundering to promote the scheme and to distribute the fraudulent proceeds.
The rural hospitals involved in this case are: Cambellton-Graceville Hospital (CGH), a 25-bed rural hospital located in Graceville, Florida; Regional General Hospital of Williston, a 40-bed facility located in Williston, Florida; Chestatee Regional Hospital, a 49-bed rural hospital located in Dahlonega, Georgia; and Putnam County Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed rural hospital located in Unionville, Missouri.
*A superseding indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. *
The information on this website will be updated as new developments arise in the case. If you have any questions, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presumption of Innocence: It is important to keep in mind that a complaint contains allegations only, and that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty and that presumption requires both the court and our office to take certain steps to ensure that justice is served.
Crime Victims’ Rights Act and Right to Retain Counsel: Because charges have been filed in this case in federal court, you also may be entitled to the following rights, according to the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, Title 18, United States Code, Section 3771: (1) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused; (2) The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused; (3) The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding; (4) The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding; (5) The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case; (6) The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law; (7) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay; (8) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy; (9) The right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement; and (10) The right to be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 10607(c)) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice. The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (18 U.S.C. § 3771) applies only to victims of the counts charged in federal court, and thus individuals may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime of which the individual is a victim was not charged.
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