Owner of Fraudulent Physical Therapy Company Pleads Guilty to Medicare Fraud Scheme
WASHINGTON – A Miami-area resident and owner of a fraudulent physical therapy company in Lakeland, Fla., pleaded guilty today for his role in a scheme to defraud Medicare, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS) announced.
Jorge Zamora, 48, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Pizzo in Tampa, Fla., to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
According to court documents, Zamora was an owner of Dynamic Therapy Inc. Zamora and his co-conspirators purchased Dynamic from its previous owners, and transformed it into a fraudulent enterprise. Dynamic purported to provide physical therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries, but in reality used the stolen identities of a physical therapist and scores of patients to bill Medicare for physical therapy services that were never provided.
According to court documents, from fall 2009 to summer 2010, Zamora and his co-conspirators submitted and caused the submission of $757,654 in fraudulent claims to the Medicare program by Dynamic. Zamora admitted that he and his co-conspirators submitted claims to Medicare for physical therapy services that were never provided.
Three officers of Dynamic Therapy also have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
At sentencing, Zamora faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been set.
Today’s guilty plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill of the Middle District of Florida; Steven E. Ibison, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI’s Tampa Division; and Special Agent-in-Charge Christopher Dennis of the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations’ Miami office.
This case was prosecuted by Acting Assistant Chief Benjamin D. Singer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina M. Burden of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. The case was investigated by the HHS-OIG, Defense Criminal Investigative Service and FBI, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Since their inception in March 2007, Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,000 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $2.3 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 Action Team (HEAT), go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.