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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 12, 2018

Broward Doctor and Staff Arrested for Running a Pill Mill

Dr. Andres Mencia, 64, of Ft. Lauderdale, Oscar Luis Ventura-Rodriguez, 41, of Ft. Lauderdale, Nadira Sampath-Grant, 51, of Margate, and John Mensah, 50, of Miami, were arrested for their involvement in a scheme where they billed Medicare and Medicaid for medical consultations during which in actuality, they issued prescriptions for opioids and other drugs in exchange for cash payments, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 and 841(a)(1), 18 U.S.C. § 2, 18 U.S.C. § 1347 and 18 U.S.C. § 1349.

Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, Shimon R. Richmond, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

As alleged in the indictment, beginning in or around January 2015, Dr. Mencia, Venutra-Rodriguez, Sampath-Grant and Mensah conspired to perform sham consultations with Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and other patients, the true intent of which was to issue them prescriptions for opioids and other drugs in exchange for cash payments.  In some instances, the defendants billed Medicare and Medicaid for these consultations and the prescriptions were filled at Medicare and Medicaid participating pharmacies. 

Ventura-Rodriguez, Sampath-Grant and Mensah are charged with knowingly and intentionally dispensing a controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 and 841(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 2. 

Dr. Mencia is also charged with knowingly and intentionally dispensed a controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 and 841(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 2.  The indictment further alleges that Dr. Mencia purchased two residential properties with the illicit proceeds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957.

If convicted on all charges, each defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment on each count.  

Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of DEA, HHS-OIG and ICE-HSI.  Mr. Greenberg also thanked the Aventura Police Department, City of Miami Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department, and Miami Gardens Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Gilfarb. 

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated February 12, 2018