Patient Recruiter Sentenced to 60 Months in Prison for Role in $2.3 Million Miami Medicare Fraud Scheme
The owner and president of a Miami-area consulting and staffing company was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for his role in a $2.3 million Medicare fraud scheme.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office 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, the owner and president of Nerey Professional Services Inc., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles of the Southern District of Florida. In addition to imposing the prison term, Judge Gayles ordered Nerey to pay $2,366,736 in restitution. On April 1, 2016, following a one-week jury trial, Nerey was convicted of one count of receiving kickbacks in connection with a Federal Health Care Program and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay health care kickbacks.
According to evidence presented at trial, from October 2014 to September 2015, Nerey was involved in a conspiracy to accept kickbacks in return for referring Medicare beneficiaries to Mercy Home Care Inc. and D&D&D Home Health Care Inc. to serve as patients, including those who did not qualify for home health care services according to Medicare rules and regulations. His acts contributed to the submission of $2 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare as well as their subsequent payment on those fraudulent claims, according to trial evidence.
The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated this case, which 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 of the Southern District of Florida. Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Lisa Miller and Elizabeth Young prosecuted 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 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.