Two Miami-based former home health care company owners were sentenced this week to 73 months and 74 month in prison, respectively, for their part in a $20 million home health care Medicare fraud scheme.
Defendants Ariel Rodriguez (73 months) and Reynaldo Navarro (74 months) were sentenced Thursday and were each ordered to pay $14 in restitution, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The two defendants formerly owned Serendipity Home Health Inc., a Florida home health agency and pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In the scheme, the two defendants and two co-conspirators, paid kickbacks and bribes to patient recruiters in return for the recruiters providing patients to Serendipity, as well as prescriptions, plans of care and certifications for unnecessary home health services for Medicare beneficiaries, according to the DOJ.
Plea documents state that the agency’s nurses and office staff falsified patient files for Medicare beneficiaries to make it appear they qualified for the company’s services when they actually did not qualify and did not receive the services. In total, the co-conspirators submitted roughly $20 million in false and fraudulent claims, $14 million of which were paid by Medicare.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker