Seven charged with healthcare fraud

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Sunday, August 8, 2004

August 9, 2004

Florida - The U.S. attorney's office in southern Florida on Friday charged seven people with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to money launder.
The charges, resulting from a three-year investigation, allege that the defendants and others formed bogus DME companies and billed for DME services that were never provided or were unnecessary.
The indictment seeks to recoup $7 million that the government alleges was illegally billed to Medicare.
The government also charged some of the defendants with laundering $4 million during the course of the so-called conspiracy.
The money laundering charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a possible fine equal to twice the amount of money defrauded from Medicare.
Some defendants were also charged with participating in check-cashing schemes.
Those named in the 79-count indictment are Lazaro Betancourt, Carlos Marx Mesa, Kenia Mesa, Osvaldo Piedra, Viridiana Negrin, Gilberto Herrera and Guillermo Carnet.

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