The owner of several home health companies in Miami has been sentenced to 120 months in prison for his role in a $20 million Medicare fraud scheme carried out from 2007 to 2010.
The owner and operator of Trust Care Health Services Inc., Roberto Marrero, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks in September 2013. Under the scheme, Marrero and co-conspirators Sandra Fernandez Viera, Patricia Morcate, and Enrique Rodriguez, all of Miami, operated Trust Care for the purpose of billing Medicare for home health services and physical therapy services that were not necessary and/or were never provided, according to the Department of Justice.
The co-conspirators have been sentenced at Fernandez Viera to serve 120 months in prison, Morcate to serve 60 months and Rodriguez to serve 57 months.
In addition to the kickbacks and fraudulent billing, the co-conspirators paid bribes to patient recruiters for profiting patients to Trust Care. They also paid kickbacks and bribes to co-conspirators in doctors’ offices in exchange for documentation including prescriptions and medical certifications, which they later used to bill Medicare fraudulently.
Marrero and his co-conspirators have also acknowledged their involvement in similar fraud schemes spanning other home health agencies with losses amounting to a total of $50 million, according to the DOJ.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker