The U.S. District Court in Miami has sentenced key participants in a Miami HIV clinic fraud scheme. Nayda Freire, who owned the HIV clinic, Global Med-Care Corp., will serve thirty months in prison and pay $7,992,391 in restitution to Medicare. Freire had pleaded guilty to making $10.9 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare for HIV infusion services that either were not provided or were not medically necessary. Freire made illegal kickbacks to patients to ensure their participation in the scheme.
The president and director of G&S Medical Center, Dilcia Marinez, has also been sentenced to 57 months in prison after pleading guilty to one charge involving the clinic’s plan to defraud the Medicare program by making false claims for payment for HIV services that were not in fact provided or were medically unnecessary. Juan Carlos Castaneda and Luis Frias also received prison sentences after the two pleaded guilty to laundering the illegal proceeds of the fraudulent scheme.
According to prosecutors, the two clinics were controlled by Carlos and Luis Benitez, both now fugitives believed to have fled to Cuba. The Benitez brothers operated twelve HIV-therapy clinics that received $84 million in Medicare payments from 2001 to 2004. The HIV patients at Global received cash kickbacks for their participation in the scheme. After Global received Medicare payments for the unnecessary services, the fraudulent proceeds were transferred to phony marketing, management and investment companies that were operated by the Benitez brothers. These co-conspirators fronted the money and staff necessary for Global’s operation, supplied the Medicare beneficiaries who received the “treatment” provided by Global, and provided transportation to and from the HIV clinic for the individual patients.
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