Home Health Fraudsters Hid $2.4 Million in Diapers

Co-owners and operators of seven home health care agencies in Miami-Dade County, Florida, plead guilty to fraud charges for their roles in a home health scheme totaling $20 million.

Miami mother/daughter duo Mildrey Gonzalez and Milka Alfaro were discovered when they were traveling back to Miami from the Dominican Republic with more than $2.4 million in their luggage wrapped in diapers and baby towels, the Miami Herald reported.

Gonzalez and Alfaro concealed their ownership interested by recruiting and paying nominees to falsely represent themselves as the owners of several home health agencies: Inar Home Care Service Corp.; MA Home Health Inc.; Golden Home Health Care Inc.; Nova Home Health Care Inc.; Finetech Home Health Inc.; Homestead Home Health Care LLC; and Metro Dade Home Health Inc., according to a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

From June 2011 until June 2016, Gonzalez and Alfaro paid bribes and kickbacks to medical professionals, including doctors as well as patient recruiters, in return for the provision of prescriptions for home health care services and Medicare beneficiary referrals to their home health agencies. Even more, in some cases, Medicare beneficiaries did not need home health care services, the DOJ said.

Gonzalez and Alfaro were indicted along with Adriana Jalil, who served as a patient recruiter, and Luis Luzardo, who utilized sham staffing companies to launder money. Jalil and Luzardo pleaded guilty and were sentenced this year to 24 and 37 months in prison, respectively, according to the DOJ.

Both Gonzalez and Alfaro will be sentenced on May 11 before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez.

Written by Alana Stramowski