Two Miami corporations and their executives were indicted Thursday for allegedly participating in a $200 million scheme to defraud Medicare by billing for fake mental health services.
American Therapeutic Corporation (ATC), a South Florida mental health center, and Medlink Professional Management Group Inc. (Medlink), a health management firm, face charges for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Lawrence S. Duran and Marianella Valera, the owner and CEO respectively of ATC; Judith Negron, the marketing director for Medlink, and Margarita Acevedo, an employee of ATC and Medlink, also face charges for allegedly conspiring to defraud the United States and conspiring to pay and receive health care kickbacks.
According to the indictment, ATC and Medlink allegedly arranged with the owners of assisted living facilities to bring patients to the mental health center for medically unnecessary therapies. ACT and Medlink would bill Medicare for the services, and pay the assisted living facilities and some patients kickbacks for the fake treatments.
The complaint also named American Sleep Institute Inc. (ASI) and D&V Development Inc., as participants in the alleged health care fraud.
The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the Southern District of Florida U.S. Attorney’s office. Both Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny Breuer and Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Tony West traveled to Florida to announced the arrests Thursday.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Jennifer L. Saulino and Joseph S. Beemsterboer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, Vanessa I. Reed and Carolyn B. Tapie of the Civil Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted L. Radway of the Southern District of Florida.