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Policy: Entitlements

$10.5 million Medicare fraud scheme leads to guilty pleas in money-laundering conspiracy

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Watchdog,Watchdog Blog,Medicare and Medicaid,Entitlements,Waste and Fraud,Follow the Money,Ethan Barton

Two Miami men pleaded guilty last week to money laundering in a $10.5 million Medicare fraud scheme using shell companies, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Alain Remy, 35, and Rafael Roche, 43, pled guilty last week to conspiring to draw fraudulent health care proceeds from shell companies.

Between November 2007 and August 2009, Renew Therapy submitted more than $10.5 million to Medicare in false claims for therapy services, according to the DOJ press release. The services “were not legitimately prescribed and not legitimately provided to Medicare beneficiaries.”

Renew Therapy, a comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility, was owned and controlled by Luis Duluc and others who conspired with Remy and Roche, according to court documents. Duluc is schedule to go on trial beginning Feb. 3.

The false claims scored Renew Therapy more than $6.2 million, which the conspirators then disbursed to various entities, including shell companies which Remy and Roche used to distribute the money to themselves and their accomplices.

From February to September 2009, Ariguanabo Investment Group, one of the shell companies, received more than $1.2 million, which it subsequently redistributed to companies like Ibiza Future Planning Inc., another shell company controlled by Remy.

IRE Diagnostic Center received more than $600,000, which was laundered to further entities, including another shell company established and controlled by Roche and Remy, A&R Medical Services of South Florida Inc., from August 2008 to January 2009.

Remy is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 16, while Roche’s sentencing is not yet scheduled, and each face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

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