U.S. Department of Justice

87 In Florida Charged In National Health Care Fraud Crackdown

Jul 14, 2017
U.S. Department of Justice

More than 80 people in Florida were charged in a nationwide crackdown on health care fraud and opioid scams that totaled $1.3 billion in falls billings, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

State Wants To Keep Feds Out Of Prison Disability Case

Jan 31, 2017
Associated Press

The Florida Department of Corrections has asked a judge to block the U.S. Department of Justice from intervening in a year-old lawsuit alleging that the state's prison system has violated the rights of inmates with disabilities.

p1 lawyer / Flickr

A Colombian national accused of pretending to be a doctor in South Florida and injecting silicone into his patients as part of cosmetic procedures has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison.

Justice Department Intervenes In Suit Against Florida DOC

Jan 10, 2017
wp paarz / Flickr

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday moved to intervene in a nearly year-old lawsuit against the Florida Department of Corrections, alleging that the state's prison agency "systematically violates the rights of inmates with disabilities."

The U.S. Department of Justice has settled a lawsuit with the nation’s largest private nursing home company.

Seven hospitals in Florida have agreed to pay the federal government about $9 million to settle allegations they submitted false claims to Medicare for a minimally-invasive procedure commonly used to treat spinal fractures from osteoporosis, a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice says.

Questionable salaries of several Broward Health cardiologists is a central complaint in a whistleblower lawsuit that led to a recent $69.5 million settlement, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. The federal government challenged the hours reported by “medical directors” at Broward Health, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Two Florida hospitals --Lehigh Regional Medical Center  and Santa Rosa Medical Center in Milton -- are part of a nearly $16 million settlement involving allegations of false Medicare claims, according to a news release from  the U.S. Department of Justice.

A Jacksonville woman is suing Baptist Health and the former head of its neurology department after being misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the Florida Times-Union reports.

A Jacksonville woman is suing Baptist Health and the former head of its neurology department after being misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the Florida Times-Union reports.

One of the top Medicare billers in the country, Central Florida cardiologist Asad Qamar, is the target of two lawsuits accusing him of systematic Medicare fraud, including padding bills and performing unnecessary procedures.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s civil division has joined in the whistleblowers' cases on behalf of Medicare and Medicaid taxpayers.  The lawsuits, filed in 2011 and 2014, were kept secret while the DOJ investigated and debated whether to join them. 

Six months after the Miami Herald started investigating suspicious deaths of inmates -- and as the Florida prison system continues its path to become the deadliest year on record -- the U.S. Department of Justice is poised to start an investigation of its own into the third-largest prison system in the country.

A Tampa man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his part in a $28.3 Medicare fraud scheme, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reports.  In his guilty plea, Luis Duluc admitted to using physical therapy clinics and other businesses to submit false claims to Medicare. He was also ordered to pay $14.4 million in restitution, according to the Business Journal. 

The attorneys who represented Trayvon Martin's family have called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the death of a Florida inmate who had told relatives she feared for her life in prison.

Thirty-six-year-old Latandra Ellington, a mother of four, was found dead last Wednesday at Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala. Attorneys Daryl Parks and Benjamin Crump say a major at the prison told Ellington's aunt she would be looked after during a phone call shortly before her death.

The co-owner of a Miami home health agency was sentenced to 70 months in prison for fraudulently providing therapy to Medicare recipients.

Between 2008 and 2014, Annarella Garcia’s Professional Medical Home Health received approximately $6.25 million in fraudulent Medicare claims, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

The last of about 40 defendants linked to a sprawling Medicare scam have been convicted in federal court, the Miami Herald reports.

A jury took just a few hours to find Roger Bergman, 65, and Rodolfo Santaya, 55, guilty for their involvement in the American Therapeutic Corp. scam that was first discovered in 2010, according to the Herald.

It took five letters, including one from a law firm, for Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown to gain an interview with an inmate who has crucial inside information on the death of a mentally ill inmate at Dade Correctional Institution two years ago.

Convicted killer Mark Joiner, now at a state prison in Lake City, told Brown that DCI guards routinely tortured and even killed inmates, then bragged about it. They also bragged that nothing would happen to them, he said.

Adventist Health System has turned itself in for violating federal laws involving doctor referrals, the Orlando Business Journal reports.

The Altamonte Springs-based health care chain told the Department of Justice it violated the federal Stark Law that prohibits physician referrals to hospitals where there is already a financial relationship, according to bondholder documents obtained by the Business Journal.

Halifax Health could be on the hook for $116 million to resolve part of a whistleblower lawsuit, the Daytona Beach News Journal reports.

Public trading of shares for the Naples-based Health Management Associates chain ended Monday, as its multibillion-dollar sale neared completion. HMA’s 23 hospitals will now be added to the Community Health Systems’ chain.

The New York Stock Exchange suspended trading of the HMA stock, which has been converted into shares for its new parent company, Community Health Systems, according to corporate disclosure statements.

Troubling allegations continue to emerge that the Naples-based Health Management Associates illegally pressured doctors and hospital staffs to admit and illegally bill Medicaid and Medicare, all in the name of making money.

The U.S. Department of Justice has signed on to eight false claims lawsuits against Health Management Associates, claiming the Naples-based hospital chain billed for unnecessary patient admissions and paid kickbacks to doctors who referred patients.

The government specifically alleges that former HMA executive Gary Newsome personally led the push to pressure emergency department physicians and hospital administrators to increase the number of inpatient admissions, “regardless of medical necessity,” the Department said in a statement.

MIAMI - A South Florida woman has pleaded guilty to involvement in several health care fraud schemes that cost the Medicare program an estimated $20 million.

Former Merfi Corp. clinic owner Isabel Medina pleaded guilty Tuesday in Miami federal court to health care fraud conspiracy, which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence. The 49-year-old Medina will be sentenced in March.

A Pembroke Pines chiropractor who was allowed to keep practicing after pleading guilty in the 1980s to defrauding insurance companies is in trouble again, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. This time, David Hirschenson is accused of illegally chasing down accident victims to offer them medical services.

A company started by Florida Senate President Don Gaetz, but which he later sold, is in hot water with the federal government.  In a suit filed against Chemed, the U.S. Department of Justice accused it of Medicare fraud.  Gaetz was vice chairman during part of the time in question, according to the Tampa Bay Times

The U.S. Department of Justice has ended its investigation of civil-rights violations in Miami-Dade County jails amid a commitment from the county to build a mental-health treatment facility and improve medical care for inmates, the Miami Herald reports.  

A federal judge has sentenced Gary Kushner, a 72-year-old Plantation physician, to 12 years in prison for Medicare fraud, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. 

A jury last August found Kushner guilty after a two-month trial based on evidence that he and co-conspirators submitted $50 million in fraudulent billings through Biscayne Milieu, a Miami-based mental-health clinic. Kushner had been medical director of the clinic.