Former Fugitive Pleads Guilty in Florida Multimillion-Dollar Health Care Fraud Scheme
A Cuban national who fled the United States and had been wanted since 2013 on federal criminal charges relating to a multimillion-dollar health care fraud scheme in the greater Tampa Bay, Florida, area pleaded guilty today for his role in the scheme.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III of the Middle District of Florida; Special Agent in Charge Paul Wysopal of the FBI’s Tampa, Florida, Field Office, Special Agent in Charge George Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Shimon Richmond of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Miami Regional Office made the announcement.
Ubert Guillermo Rodriguez, aka Ubert Guillermo Rodriguez Sigler, 47, pleaded guilty in federal court in Tampa today to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Rodriguez was arrested on the health care fraud charges when he arrived at Miami International Airport on a flight from Cuba in October 2015.
According to documents filed in the case, Rodriguez was the president and owner of G.R. Services Equipment & Supplies Inc., a Largo, Florida, company that purported to provide durable medical equipment to Medicare beneficiaries. From May 2013 through July 2013, Rodriguez’s company submitted approximately $2,579,695 in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare seeking reimbursement for durable medical equipment, such as wound care supplies, that was not legitimately prescribed by doctors and was not provided to beneficiaries. For example, Rodriguez’s company sought reimbursement for thousands of dollars of negative pressure wound therapy electrical pumps and sterile collagen dressings purportedly provided in May and June 2013 to Medicare beneficiaries. Federal law enforcement agents previously executed a seizure warrant on Rodriguez’s company’s bank account, resulting in the seizure of approximately $243,339 in proceeds of the health care fraud scheme.
HHS-OIG and the FBI are investigating the case, which and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Florida. Senior Trial Attorney Christopher J. Hunter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $6 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Team (HEAT), go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.