A Miami resident was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks to 108 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $20,988,632 in restitution.
Wifredo Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Shimon Richmond, Special Agent in Charge, Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
Daniel Suarez, 24, of Miami, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349.
According to the court record, Suarez and his co-conspirators were the owners of eight separate pharmacies that submitted and caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims to Medicare that they provided pharmaceutical drugs pursuant to properly written prescriptions when, in fact, such items were not properly prescribed or actually provided to Medicare beneficiaries. This fraud was accomplished in part by the use of a number of patient recruiters who received kickbacks in return for referring Medicare Part D beneficiaries to the eight separate pharmacies that Suarez controlled. These patient recruiters then purchased the prescriptions for the medically unnecessary pharmaceutical items that the pharmacies billed to Medicare. Suarez placed the pharmacies he controlled in the names of co-conspirator family members. In total, Suarez and his co-conspirators submitted and caused the submission of more than $20 million in false claims to the Medicare Part D program. Suarez used the fraudulently obtained proceeds to benefit himself and his family, including the purchase of luxury automobiles (ie: a Rolls Royce Ghost, Bentley, Range Rover and Mercedes Benz S63 AMG).
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the HHS-OIG and FBI. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Roger Cruz.