Hialeah Man Convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Obstruction of Justice
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 10, 2009|
Jeffrey H. Sloman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael J. Folmar, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, announced that on Friday, August 7, 2009, a federal jury in Miami convicted defendant Ramon Santos, of Hialeah, FL, of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and obstruction of justice following a trial before Senior U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King. Sentencing has been scheduled for October 29, 2009. Santos faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
More specifically, the jury convicted Santos of two counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349; five counts of health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347; and one count of obstruction of justice, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1503.
According to evidence presented at trial, Santos was employed by two separate HIV-infusion clinics, The Better Health Consulting Clinic and Mitto Health Center Inc, which purportedly provided infusion treatments to HIV-positive Medicare beneficiaries. From 2004 through June 2006, both Mitto and Better Health submitted claims to Medicare in which they claimed that they were providing expensive HIV-infusion therapies when, in fact, they were providing the patients with nothing more than injections or infusions of Vitamins B-6 and B-12. During the course of the conspiracy, the two clinics submitted more than $12 million in false claims to Medicare.
According to the trial evidence, defendant Santos, who was not a licensed physician’s assistant, purported to be a physician’s assistant and examined patients, prepared treatment plans, and prepared false medical paperwork, which paperwork was ultimately used to submit false claims to Medicare. In addition, after Better Health received a grand jury subpoena in June of 2006, Santos created false medical records and placed phony test results inside patient files which were ultimately returned to the grand jury.
Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Bernstein and Ryan O’Quinn.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.