Owner of Hialeah Health Care Facilities Sentenced to 112 Months for Threatening Investigators and Defrauding Medicare
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 02, 2010|
Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office; and Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, announced today’s sentencing of defendant Yamill Ramos Perez, 38, of Miami-Dade County, for health care fraud charges and harassing Medicare investigators. U.S. District Court Judge Patricia A. Seitz sentenced Ramos Perez to 112 months’ imprisonment for health care fraud and 60 months’ imprisonment for interstate harassment. The sentences are to run concurrent to each other, followed by a three-year term of supervised release. In addition, Judge Seitz ordered restitution in the amount of $5,825,702 and ordered forfeiture of the defendant’s assets.
According to court documents, Ramos Perez owned, through intermediaries, two health care clinics: El Palenque Farmacia Corp. and Meli Pharmacy, both located in Hialeah, Florida. Ramos Perez admitted that the two clinics fraudulently billed Medicare approximately $20,000,000, and received approximately $6,000,000 in fraudulent reimbursements.
After both clinics were placed on “pre-payment review” for suspected fraud, Ramos Perez began a campaign to harass Medicare fraud investigators and a Medicare executive. His efforts included direct threats by phone to kill a Medicare fraud investigator, threatening telephone calls at a fraud investigator’s home, numerous faxes to Medicare claiming that Ramos Perez would “ruin lives,” and more than 383 e-mails that flooded a Medicare webpage.
On December 4, 2009, Ramos Perez pled guilty to two counts of conspiring to commit health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349; and one count of interstate harassment, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2261A(2)(A). A term of 60 months’ imprisonment represents the statutory maximum on the interstate harassment charge.
Special Agent in Charge John V. Gillies stated, “To threaten and harass investigators after being caught red-handed is outrageous. Medicare fraud continues to be a tremendous problem in South Florida, draining taxpayers’ dollars and putting them in the pockets of criminals, such as Ramos Perez. The FBI and our partners at HHS-OIG will continue to pursue those that steal from our health care system.”
Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney H. Ron Davidson.