Two Miami-Area Corporations Plead Guilty to More Than $200 Million Medicare Fraud
|U.S. Department of Justice May 03, 2011|
WASHINGTON—Two Miami-area corporations, American Therapeutic Corporation (ATC) and Medlink Professional Management Group Inc., pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Miami for a fraud scheme that resulted in the submission of more than $200 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS) announced.
According to court documents, ATC is a Florida corporation headquartered in Miami that operated purported partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) in seven different locations throughout South Florida and Orlando, Fla. A PHP is a form of intensive treatment for severe mental illness. Medlink is a Florida corporation headquartered in Miami that purported to act as a “management company” for health care businesses. In reality, ATC and a related company, the American Sleep Institute (ASI), were Medlink’s only clients. ATC and Medlink are each charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud in a superseding indictment unsealed on Feb. 15, 2011. ATC is also charged in the superseding indictment with health care fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive illegal health care kickbacks.
“ATC and Medlink, and their owners, have now pleaded guilty to perpetrating a massive $200 million Medicare fraud scheme in South Florida,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The fraud scheme was staggering in scope, and those who concocted the scheme exhibited a complete disregard for the elderly, infirm, and disabled victims who were used to commit it. Today’s guilty pleas mark an important step forward in our effort to hold accountable everyone—and every entity—involved in the scheme, and to recover the maximum amount possible on behalf of American taxpayers.”
“The defendants altered patient files, diagnoses, and medication types and levels to make it appear that patients being treated qualified for PHP treatments,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer for the Southern District of Florida. “This was done so that the defendants could fraudulently bill Medicare for more than $200 million in medically unnecessary services. We are pleased to have put these unscrupulous operators out of business.”