Patient Recruiter and Staffing Company Employee Convicted of $2 Million Home Health Care Fraud Scheme
A patient recruiter for several Miami-area home health agencies was convicted today for his role in a fraud and kickback scheme that resulted in the submission of millions of dollars in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Division 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.
Carlos Rodriguez Nerey, 45, of Miami, was convicted after trial of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive health care kickbacks and one count of receiving health care kickbacks.
According to evidence presented at trial, Nerey claimed to work at a staffing company called Sweet Life Staffing Inc. but was in fact a patient recruiter for D&D&D Home Health Inc. (D&D&D) and Mercy Home Care, Inc. (Mercy), two fraudulent home health care agencies in Miami. Evidence at trial demonstrated that Nerey worked for a number of fraudulent home health care companies in Miami before he began accepting kickbacks from D&D&D and Mercy. The defendant created a shell company for the purpose of accepting kickbacks from Mercy and D&D&D and received approximately $250,000 as a result of his role in the scheme, evidence at trial showed.
The evidence introduced at trial showed that Medicare paid more than $2 million to D&D&D and Mercy for those claims.
The FBI and HHS-OIG 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 Southern District of Florida. Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Lisa H. Miller and Elizabeth W. Young are 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 Action Team (HEAT), go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.