Kentuckiana Anesthesiologist Guilty Of Unlawful Distribution Of Controlled Substances, Health Care Fraud, Conspiracy And Money Laundering
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentuckiana anesthesiologist pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to charges of unlawful distribution or dispensing of controlled substances, health care fraud, conspiracy and money laundering announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.
Jaime Guerrero, age 48, formerly a medical physician with offices in Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana, pleaded guilty to 31 counts of a 35 count Superseding Indictment before U.S. District Judge Greg N. Stivers.
According to terms of the plea agreement, Guerrero will forfeit the proceeds from these offenses, including his license to practice medicine and real property owned by Guerrero Real Estate Investments, LLC. Further, the defendant will pay $827,000 in victim restitution to nine health care benefit programs. In return, at the time of sentencing, the United States has agreed to recommend a 100 month sentence in prison, followed by a three year period of supervised release.
According to the plea agreement, from November 1, 2009, continuing through January 1, 2013, Guerrero conspired with others to knowingly and intentionally distribute and dispense, schedule II and III controlled substances to patients, without a legitimate medical purpose and beyond the bounds of professional medical practice. Beginning November 1, 2009, and continuing through May 8, 2014, Guerrero admitted to distributing and dispensing Schedule II and III controlled substances to patients (listed in counts 2-26) without a legitimate medical purpose beyond the bounds of professional medical practice. Beginning on or about January 6, 2010, and continuing through September 16, 2011, Guerrero knowingly and intentionally distributed and dispensed, and caused to be distributed and dispensed Hydrocodone, a Schedule III controlled substance, to patient S.O., without a legitimate medical purpose and beyond the bounds of professional medical practice, which resulted in S.O.’s death on or about September 24, 2011.
Guerrero further pleaded guilty to three counts of health care fraud for fraudulently billing various health care benefit programs and for submitting fraudulent claims for patient health care counseling. Specifically, on May 26, 2011, June 15, 2011, and June 22, 2011, Guerrero saw more than 100 patients on each of the dates, by himself, and spent approximately 3 minutes or less with each patient, and fraudulently billed various health care benefit programs, for office visits at a higher code than the service provided. Between July 9, 2010 and July 22, 2010, Guerrero travelled outside of the United States and directed staff personnel to provide group counseling sessions for patients in his absence. The group sessions were then billed as individual counseling sessions, and as if Guerrero personally provided the service. Additionally, between January 1, 2008, and continuing through June 15, 2012, Guerrero falsely and fraudulently submitted over 100 claims to various health care benefit programs for office visits at a higher code than the service provided; for office visits that were not medically necessary or within the course of usual medical practice; submitting claims for services that were not sufficiently documented in the patient’s medical record; and making claims for office visits as though a physician saw the patient, when in fact, a nurse practitioner saw the patient. Guerrero agreed to pay $827,000 in victim restitution to nine health care benefit programs
Finally, Guerrero pleaded guilty to a single money laundering charge for redeeming (paying the taxes) on a building located at 1201 West Wall Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana, with $89,556.25 in cash derived from unlawful activity - the unlawful dispensing and distribution of controlled substances and health care fraud.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph Ansari and Lettricea Jefferson-Webb and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Indiana and Kentucky Medicaid Fraud Control Units, and Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD).