Former Fugitive Sentenced to Prison for Florida Multimillion-Dollar Health Care Fraud Scheme
A Cuban national was sentenced to 37 months in prison today for his role in a multimillion-dollar health care fraud scheme in the greater Tampa, Florida, area.
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 Field Office and 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 made the announcement.
Ubert Guillermo Rodriguez, aka Ubert Guillermo Rodriguez Sigler, 47, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in March 2016. Rodriguez had been a fugitive following his indictment in 2013 until his arrest in October 2015. U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore of the Middle District of Florida imposed today’s sentence and also ordered Rodriguez to pay $918,402 in restitution and to forfeit the same amount.
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. Rodriguez admitted that from May 2013 through July 2013, his company submitted approximately $2,579,695 in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare seeking reimbursement for durable medical equipment not legitimately prescribed by doctors and 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 to Medicare beneficiaries in May and June 2013 that were not, in fact, legitimately prescribed by doctors or provided to 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 investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Florida. Fraud Section Senior Trial Attorney Christopher J. Hunter prosecuted 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 and 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.