Medicare Fraud Defendant Gets 10-Year Prison Term

On May 18, 2007, the US Attorney’s Office reported that Jafet Garcia, a defendant in a massive South Florida Medicare fraud scheme, was sentenced in West Palm Beach Federal court to ten (10) years’ imprisonment.
According to the court file, the defendant and his partners purchased four medical equipment companies located in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, between February 2004 and December 2004. The defendant and his partners recruited individuals to pose as the owners of these companies. After setting up the companies, the defendant and his partners obtained patient and physician information which they used to prepare bogus prescriptions and/or certificates of medical necessity. The bogus prescriptions and certificates purported to authorize the provision of various types of medical equipment for the named Medicare beneficiaries; in truth, the prescriptions and certificates were prepared by the defendant and/or his accomplices and contained forged physicians’ signatures.
The defendant and/or his partners provided the bogus prescriptions and certificates to a Miami billing company for submission to Medicare. The billing company prepared Medicare claims which sought reimbursement for the cost of the equipment listed in the bogus prescriptions and certificates, even though such equipment was never authorized by a physician or provided to the beneficiaries. Medicare processed the fraudulent claims and issued reimbursement checks which the defendant and/or his accomplices cashed at a Miami check cashing store. The defendant and his partners would submit claims through a particular medical equipment company for only two to three months, close it and then begin billing through another company to avoid getting caught.
The four companies used by the defendant and his partners to defraud Medicare were Sunset Medical Corporation, King Medical Service and Supplies Corporation, Travelango Services Corp. and Clear Choice Home Health, Inc. During the course of the scheme, the defendant and his partners submitted more than $9 million in bogus Medicare claims.