Florida is not immune to the schemes of healthcare fraud. Frank Monte was a 40-year-old man from Valrico who conspired with Kimberely Anderson from New Port Richey to carry out the fraud.
As per evidence, these two co-conspirators owned a marketing company. It was named Centurion Compounding, Inc. Lifecare was a pharmacy in Pinellas County. Monte and Anderson collaborated with the pharmacy to operate the fraud network. The employees of Centurion marketed compounded medications. These medications included pain and scar creams. These medications were provided to the benefit receivers of healthcare plans, mostly TRICARE. The prices of these creams started at $900 and could be up to $21000 for the supply of one month. Carlos Mazariegos and Benjamin Nundy were the owners of Lifecare Pharmacy. They agreed with Monte and Anderson to cooperate with Dr. Anthony Baldizzi. As per the agreement, Baldizzi would prescribe compounded medications to patients the bills of which would be submitted to healthcare benefit programs. In return, Baldizzi would be given ten percent of the reimbursement amounts paid by the programs. In addition, Baldizzi was also given cash and other expensive things by Mazariegos through understanding with his co-conspirators.
The reimbursement for the false claims resulted in payment of more than four point four million dollars by TRICARE. Lifecare gained about four million from these payments. A large part of the claims was due to the patients brought to Lifecare. The profit was divided 45%,45%, and 10% respectively by Lifecare, Centurion, and Baldizzi.
Monte and Anderson squandered the fraud money on various luxury items. Those seized from their property were $8,730.50 in cash; a 2012 Lamborghini Aventador; a 2009 Bentley Continental; a 2012 Itasca motorhome, a 2014 Maserati; a 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG; a 2005 Ford GT; real property in Land O Lakes; a 2012 Fisker Karma; a 2010 Ferrari California; a 2012 Porsche Panamera; 2013 McLaren 12C Spider; and real property in Plant City.
The owners of Lifecare pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. The doctor involved also pleaded guilty. The final verdict was to be in November and December of 2019.
The whole investigation was carried out over a period of five years. Various agencies of the law and other offices were involved in the investigation. A massive amount of fifty-eight million dollars were paid to TRICARE as compensation for the frauds. In addition, a further six million dollars were also repaid to the program by the culprits.
The FBI, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Defense Investigative Service, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and the U.S the Air Force Office of Special Investigation were in the investigation team. Assistant United States Attorneys Mandy Riedel, Colin McDonell, and Suzanne Nebesky handled the prosecution.
The Healthcare Fraud Group has years of experience in handling healthcare fraud cases. We are here to give thorough legal aid. If you are involved in such cases, please feel free to contact us at 888-402-4054 for free consultations and the most effective services.