Friday, August 24, 2007

January 2004, through in or around February 2005, United Life billed approximately $7,785,856 ..NOT BAD FOR ONE YEAR..HUH?

MIAMI—A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging defendants Lester Miranda, 31, of Miami Beach; Ariel Estevez, 32, of Hialeah, Luis Garcia Higgins, 46, of Sunny Isles and Karina Estevez, 32, also of Hialeah with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and substantive health care fraud.

In addition, defendants Miranda and Ariel Estevez are charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and substantive money laundering.

The defendants are also charged jointly and severally in an accompanying forfeiture count.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office also filed a related criminal information charging defendant Rupert Francis, 66 of Davie, FL, with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Francis has agreed to waive indictment and plead guilty. As part of his agreement, Francis agreed to voluntarily relinquish his medical license to the State of Florida.

According to the indictment, the above co-defendants established a medical clinic in Hialeah known as United Life Corp., which was used to defraud the Medicare program. Lester Miranda owned the clinic. Ariel Estevez oversaw the operation of the clinic on a day to day basis. Karina Estevez, wife to Ariel, helped manage the business and was a medical assistant.

Luis Garcia Higgins was the physician’s assistant employed by the clinic and Rupert Francis served as the clinic’s physician. Garcia Higgins and Francis had been employed full-time by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Francis was employed as a staff physician and Garcia Higgins was employed as a physician’s assistant at the Federal Detention Center-Miami until their resignations in April 2006.

Initially, the United Life clinic saw various patients who were treated for a wide range of ailments and complaints. In or around September 2004, the clinic saw an influx of HIV patients, and eventually HIV patients became the only patients treated at the clinic. The clinic stopped treating patients in February 2005.

Prosecutors say that from in or around January 2004, through in or around February 2005, United Life billed approximately $7,785,856 and received approximately $2,042,633 in Medicare reimbursements based upon claims for alleged treatments of intravenous immune globulin medications that purportedly were administered to treat the HIV patients who attended the clinic. 9-22-07

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