Leader of a $23 Million Medicare Fraud Conspiracy Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison
CHICAGO—A Chicago man was sentenced today to a 120 month term of imprisonment for taking control of two Chicago-area home health companies and using them to bilk Medicare out of more than $20 million. JACINTO “JOHN” GABRIEL, JR., 48, has been in custody since February 2014, when he entered a guilty plea to charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and tax evasion.
In sentencing Gabriel, U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle ordered him to pay $23.3 million in restitution to the Medicare program and $1.5 million to the Internal Revenue Service.
According to sentencing papers filed by the government, Gabriel fraudulently obtained confidential background information of hundreds of Medicare beneficiaries and then used that information to sign them up as patients of Perpetual Home Health, Inc. and Legacy Home Healthcare Services, companies that he controlled. “Gabriel used elderly patients as commodities to bill Medicare. Patients were intentionally misdiagnosed with medical conditions that they did not have, and then used to bill Medicare for treatment that they did not need,” the government wrote in its sentencing memorandum.
Gabriel was charged with eleven other defendants, including doctors and company employees who were enlisted to help implement the scheme. In pleading guilty to the charges, Gabriel admitted to directing company staff to alter and create patient records and doctor’s orders to support fraudulent Medicare claims; to make payments to doctors and others for referring patients and signing doctor’s orders; and to divert proceeds of the fraud scheme to him through friends, associates, and shell companies.
The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Chicago office, Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago regional office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General, and Stephen Boyd, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Havey, Raj Laud, and Sam Cole.