Florida Health Care Medical Director and Six Therapists Arrested for Alleged Roles in $63 Million Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Department of Justice July 16, 2013|
WASHINGTON—The former medical director at defunct health provider Health Care Solutions Network (HCSN) and six therapists were arrested today, accused of conspiring to fraudulently bill Medicare and Florida Medicaid more than $63 million.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wifredo A. Ferrer; Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Steinbach of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Christopher B. Dennis of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations Miami Office, made the announcement after the indictment was unsealed following the arrests.
The former HCSN medical director, Roger Rousseau, 71, of Miami, was indicted on July 11, 2013, and charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and two counts of health care fraud. In addition, six therapists from Miami—Doris Crabtree, 61; Angela Salafia, 65; Liliana Marks, 46; Ruben Busquets, 49; Alina Fonts, 47; and Blanca Ruiz, 59—were also charged in the same indictment with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Fonts was also charged with two counts of health care fraud, and Crabtree, Salafia, Marks, and Busquets were each charged with two counts of making false statements related to health care matters. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of proceeds from the alleged healthcare fraud offenses.
According to the indictment, HCSN purported to provide intensive mental health treatment to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in Miami and Hendersonville, North Carolina, from approximately 2004 through 2011 for purported mental health services that were not medically necessary and often never provided. The indictment also alleges that in Miami, HCSN paid kickbacks to assisted living facility owners and operators who, in exchange, referred beneficiaries to HCSN. In total, HCSN is alleged to have fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid approximately $63.7 million, from which HCSN allegedly received payments totaling approximately $28 million.
Rousseau served as the medical director for HCSN in Florida, and the indictment alleges that he routinely signed what he knew to be fabricated and altered medical records without ever reviewing the materials and, in most instances, without ever meeting with the patient. The indictment also alleges that Crabtree, Salafia, Marks, Busquets, Fonts, and Ruiz fabricated HCSN medical records to support false and fraudulent claims for partial hospitalization program services that were not medically necessary and were not provided.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being 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. The case is being prosecuted by Fraud Section Trial Attorney Allan J. Medina.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,500 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare & 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.