The U.S. departments of Justice and Health and Human Services announced that a Miami-area resident who was an owner and vice president of a fraudulent physical therapy company in Lakeland, Fla., has pleaded guilty to playing a central role in a scheme to defraud Medicare of $757,654.
According to the announcement made on May 27, Andres Cespedes, 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Pizzo, sitting in Tampa, to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.
According to court documents, Cespedes was named vice president of Dynamic Therapy Inc. after he and his co-conspirators purchased Dynamic from its prior owners and transformed it into a fraudulent enterprise. Dynamic purported to provide physical therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries but in reality obtained patient information through kickbacks and bribes, then billed Medicare for physical therapy that never occurred, the documents indicated.
According to court documents, Cespedes between autumn 2009 and summer 2010 submitted and caused the submission of $757,654 in fraudulent claims to the Medicare program.
According to court documents, the owners and operators of Dynamic also stole the identities of a physical therapist and Medicare beneficiaries in order to submit additional false claims to Medicare. Cespedes admitted that he knew the Medicare beneficiaries, on whose behalf claims were submitted to Medicare by Dynamic, never received the services billed to Medicare, the documents indicated
At a sentencing date yet to be set, Cespedes will face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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