Co-Owners of Miami Pain Management Clinic and Patient Recruiter Sentenced to Prison for Scheme to Distribute Medically Unnecessary Opioid Prescriptions
The husband and wife co-owners of a Miami, Florida pain management clinic and a patient recruiter who doubled as a drug diverter were sentenced to prison today for their participation in a scheme to unlawfully distribute thousands of pills of oxycodone.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Shimon R. Richmond of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Miami Regional Office, Special Agent in Charge Brian Swain of the U.S. Secret Service’s (USSS) Miami Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Adolphus P. Wright of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Miami Field Division made the announcement.
David Bosch, 46, and Tania Sanchez, 47, both of Hialeah, Florida, and Odalys Abreu, 45, of Miami, were sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida. Bosch, Sanchez and Abreu were sentenced to serve 108, 97 and 57 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, respectively. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Moore ordered Abreu to pay a forfeiture money judgment of $75,000 and ordered Bosch and Sanchez to pay a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $131,250, jointly and severally. Each of the defendants pleaded guilty in August 2018 to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
“The three defendants sentenced today ran a pill mill masquerading as a cash-only ‘pain clinic’ that issued medically unnecessary prescriptions for thousands of tablets of oxycodone,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “The Department of Justice will use every tool at its disposal to aggressively pursue the pill mills—and their owners and operators—flooding our communities with illicit opioids that kill tens of thousands of Americans every year.”
“We are committed to investigating healthcare providers who illegally distribute opioids like common drug dealers,” said HHS-OIG Special Agent in Charge Richmond. “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who are fueling the deadly opioid epidemic.”
According to admissions made as part of their plea agreements, Bosch and Sanchez owned and operated East Medical Office Inc. (East), purportedly a pain management clinic, located at 3778 West 12th Avenue, in Hialeah. Bosch incorporated the cash-only clinic in April 2017 and ran it with Sanchez until their arrests on May 3, 2018. Bosch and Sanchez hired a physician to be the purported medical doctor of East because they knew the physician would write prescriptions for oxycodone without regard to medical necessity, they admitted. They paid the physician $125 for each prescription. They also admittedly conspired with patient recruiters and drug diverters to distribute oxycodone. Bosch introduced a purported patient recruiter to Abreu and informed the recruiter that the recruiter could make money by obtaining oxycodone pills from medically unnecessary prescriptions from East and then selling the pills, Bosh admitted. Additionally, Sanchez filled out fraudulent medical paperwork for purported patients, she admitted.
According to admissions made as part of her plea agreement, Abreu recruited her own patients to visit East. Abreu brought to East at least 18 individuals who paid approximately $250 for each purported “medical consultation” in order to receive controlled substances, especially oxycodone, that were not medically necessary. Abreu’s recruits received prescriptions for at least 5,000 tablets of oxycodone 30 mg. Abreu also offered to purchase pills from another individual whom she believed was a patient recruiter at East, she admitted.
Ledif Acanda Machado, 39, of Miami, Florida, who was charged in this conspiracy, remains a fugitive.
This case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG, USSS and the DEA. Trial Attorney Adam Yoffie of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in 14 cities across the country, has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $14 billion.