Doctor Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison For Health Care Fraud
SAN JUAN, P.R. – Doctor Juan José Tull-Abreu was sentenced to serve 63 months of imprisonment for health care fraud, and a consecutive term of 24 months for aggravated identity theft, for a total term of imprisonment of 87 months, announced United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.
Doctor Tull-Abreu was arrested on July 17, 2014, on charges of defrauding Medicare by submitting claims to Medicare Advantage health insurance plans for medical services never rendered. The evidence presented at trial showed that Tull-Abreu submitted thousands of false and fraudulent claims for services allegedly performed by the defendant at his Arecibo and Utuado, Puerto Rico, offices, which were, in fact, never performed. As explained by the witnesses from Medicare and the insurance carriers, Tull-Abreu submitted invoices for face-to-face office visits and face-to-face home visits on days when his office remained closed to the public or the defendant was travelling out of the country. The defendant was convicted on April 15, 2016, after a fourteen-day jury trial.
The evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Tull-Abreu caused a loss of over $1,200,000.00 to Medicare. Consequently, at sentencing, U.S. District Judge Jay García-Gregory ordered the defendant to pay a total of $509,775.20 in restitution to the six Medicare Advantage insurance carriers affected by the fraudulent scheme.
“We are pleased with the sentence imposed by the Court in this case,” said United States Attorney, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “This prosecution and sentence should serve as clear message to those few dishonest members of the medical community in Puerto Rico of the stern consequences they will face for defrauding the Medicare program. We will not sit idly and allow doctors to illegally enrich themselves by engaging in fraudulent schemes that deplete the Medicare program of funds destined to assist and protect the elderly.”
The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General was in charge of the investigation with the collaboration of the DEA. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennise N. Longo Quiñones.