Owner and Operator of Florida Halfway House Sentenced to 51 Months in Prison for Role in Medicare Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 18, 2012|
WASHINGTON—The owner and operator of New Way Recovery Inc., a Florida corporation that operated several halfway houses, was sentenced today to serve 51 months in prison for his role in a $205 million Medicare fraud scheme involving fraudulent claims for purported partial hospitalization program (PHP) services, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida; Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Christopher B. Dennis of the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations, Miami Office.
Hassan Collins, 41, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kevin Michael Moore in the Southern District of Florida. In addition to his prison term, Collins was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $2,413,675 in restitution, jointly and severally with co-conspirators.
On June 14, 2012, Collins pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to receive and pay health care fraud kickbacks.
According to court documents, from approximately April 2004 through approximately September 2010, Collins, along with co-conspirators, received kickback payments in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries, who did not qualify for PHP treatment, for purported PHP services to American Therapeutic Corporation (ATC), a Florida corporation that operated several purported PHPs throughout Florida. Collins and his co-conspirators caused false and fraudulent claims to be submitted to Medicare for PHP services purportedly provided to Medicare beneficiaries at ATC’s locations, when, in fact, the services were never provided.
In related cases, ATC; its management company, Medlink Professional Management Group Inc.; and various owners, managers, doctors, therapists, patient brokers, and marketers of ATC were charged with various health care fraud, kickback, money laundering, and other offenses in two indictments unsealed in February 2011. ATC, Medlink, and more than 20 of the individual defendants charged in these cases have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial.
The case is being prosecuted by Fraud Section Trial Attorney Allan J. Medina. The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought as part 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 Florida.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,480 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is 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.