Boston, Massachusetts – A man from Florida admitted guilty on 21st January 2021 to a multi-million-dollar health care fraud conspiracy involving durable medical equipment.
Nathan LaParl, from Boca Raton, Florida, age 34, admitted guilty before the United States Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. to one count accepting bribes associated with a federal health care insurance program and one count of breaching the HIPAA statute. LaParl’s sentencing is scheduled for 20th May 2021.
As per the court records, LaParl and co-conspirator Talia Alexandre sold personal and medical information for Medicare beneficiaries to Juan Camilo Perez Buitrago. LaParl and Alexandre directed foreign call centers to contact Medicare beneficiaries to enquire if they were interested in durable medical equipment like back, shoulder, arm, and knee braces at a little or no cost. The call centers gathered demographic and insurance data from the Medicare beneficiaries, which LaParl and Alexandre provided to Perez at a fee. Jointly, LaParl and Alexandre got over 1.6 million U.S. dollars from Perez for the patient information. Perez used the patient information to submit false claims amounting to over 109 million U.S. dollars for durable medical equipment that was not prescribed, not medically needed, and in most cases, was not requested by the patients or provided to the patients.
In committing the crime, LaParl improperly checked the eligibility of the Medicare beneficiaries by gaining access to a patient edibility tool given by a co-conspirator Stefanie Hirsch. Hirsch operated a Medicare registered scooter and wheelchair repair company, EI Medical, Inc., that was licensed to access a healthcare clearinghouse that holds Medicare beneficiaries’ personal, medical, and insurance data. Hirsch inappropriately allowed LaParl to access that clearinghouse in exchange for approximately 0.25 U.S. dollars for each eligibility check. LaParl used Hirsch’s credentials to access the personal, medical, and insurance data for over 350,000 patients.
Perez admitted guilty in October 2020 to health care fraud and offering bribes in connection with a government-sponsored health care policy and is set up to be convicted on 4th March 2021. Alexandre’s and Hirsch’s plea hearing is scheduled for 24th February 2021. Two other individuals who had been accused in this matter, Elizabeth Putulin and Jessica Jones, pleaded guilty on 20th January 2021.
The U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; the Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Birmingham Field Division Johnnie Sharp Jr.; the Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Boston Division Phillip Coyne; and the Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service Joseph W. Cronin announced the matter on 21st January 2021. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Assistant Attorney of Lelling’s Health Care Fraud Unit, Elysa Q. Wan.
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