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Conspirator in Assisted Living Facilities Kickback Scheme Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to 46 Months; Parallel Civil Action Pending

June 14, 2012

Leyanes Placeres will spend 46 months in prison plus three years supervised release and will pay $2.7 million in restitution for her role in a kickback conspiracy involving  several Miami-area assisted living facilities and their owners.  DoJ reports a scheme whereby “for more than one year, Placeres transported [unqualified] patients to American Therapeutic Corporation (ATC), a corporation that purported to operate partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) in seven different locations throughout south Florida and Orlando.” According to court documents:

“Placeres also facilitated on behalf of ATC the payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal kickbacks to owners and operators of assisted living facilities and halfway houses in order to obtain patients for ATC.”

Millions were paid in kickbacks and more than $200 million was fraudulently billed to Medicare in medically unnecessary services, according to DoJ.  Placeres’s plea agreement admits that her direct role in the scheme caused some $6.5 million in false claims to Medicare.

Since the scheme was discovered, 20+ individuals — including doctors, managers, owners, marketers, and therapists — as well as ATC and its parent company Medlink Professional Management Group, Inc. have either pleaded guilty or been convicted at trial. A related civil action is also ongoing.

To report Medicare fraud or other healthcare fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.

Earlier related FraudBlawg stories: Mental Illness and Sleep Centers Fraudulently Bill Medicare for Hundreds of Millions, Jury Convicts Doctors in $205M Healthcare Fraud, 1 Executive Sentenced to 50 Years

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