Two Durable Medical Equipment Company Presidents Arrested for Health Care Fraud Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 13, 2010|
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigation, announce the arrests of Emilio Felipe Lopez, 47, and Orlando Hernandez Estevez, 25, both of Miami-Dade County, on two separate indictments charging them with health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347.
According to an indictment returned in February 2010, Emilio Felipe Lopez was the president of Charlie RX, Inc., a durable medical equipment operating in Hialeah, Florida. The indictment alleges that Charlie RX submitted $689,853 in false claims to Medicare for, among other items, male vacuum erection systems. The company received $370,838 from in Medicare based upon its false billings.
According to a separate indictment returned in March 2010, Orlando Hernandez Estevez was the president of Happy Trips of Miami, Corp., another durable medical equipment operating in Hialeah, Florida. The indictment alleges that Happy Trips submitted $1,188,956 in false claims to Medicare for inhalation drugs. The company received $364,120 from Medicare based upon the false billings.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Miami. Since their inception in March 2007, Strike Force operations in seven districts have obtained indictments of more than 560 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $1.2 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers. To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney H. Ron Davidson.
An indictment is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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 United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.