Government Reaches One Million Dollar Settlement In Healthcare Fraud Matter
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On Wednesday, July 1, 2020, the U.S. District Court entered a civil Consent Judgment against defendants William J. Cruz and Medscan, P.S.C. whereby the defendants agreed to pay one million dollars to the United States resulting from an investigation conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General and the FBI, announced U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, W. Stephen Muldrow.
The Consent Judgment follows the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s filing of a civil complaint in the United States District Court under the False Claims Act against Dr. William Cruz and Medscan, P.S.C. for allegations that the defendants submitted false claims to Medicare at times in which Dr. William Cruz’ Medicare billing privileges had been revoked. The False Claims Act allows the United States, in cases such as this, to obtain significant monetary recoveries in the form of restitution and penalties, while serving as a strong deterrent against fraud.
“This case underscores the collaborative efforts employed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in coordination with HHS-OIG and the FBI to hold corporate entities and individuals accountable and to protect the integrity of federal healthcare programs, specifically Medicare funds,” said U.S. Attorney Muldrow. “Our office will continue to investigate healthcare fraud matters, and will aggressively pursue those who attempt to defraud the United States.”
“The safeguarding of Medicare and Medicaid funds against fraud, waste, and abuse will continue to be a top priority of our agency,” said Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General’s New York Regional Office (HHS-OIG). “HHS-OIG and its law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue those providers who submit false claims to taxpayer funded federal health care programs.”
“The FBI will work tirelessly and diligently with our partners to bring justice and reparations to those who have been wronged. Today’s results exemplify that ideal”, said Special Agent In-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) San Juan Field Office, Rafael A. Riviere Vázquez. President Harry S. Truman best described it when he said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” SAC Riviere Vázquez also recognized and thanked its partners from our the USAO-PR and HHS-OIG, who worked hand in hand to bring this case to fruition, and reiterate FBI’s commitment to the collective effort in the fight against Fraud.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rafael J. López Rivera, Civil Health Care Fraud Coordinator, at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with HHS-OIG and the FBI.