Health Agency Owner Convicted of Multimillion-Dollar Health Care Fraud

Health Agency Owner Convicted of Multimillion-Dollar Health Care Fraud

The owner of a Tampa, Florida, home health agency was convicted by a federal jury for her participation in a multimillion-dollar health care fraud and money laundering scheme.

Pilar Garcia Lorenzo (Garcia), 38, of Tampa, the owner of Gold Care Home Health Services Inc. (Gold Care), was convicted late Friday of one count each of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering following a jury trial. Sentencing has been scheduled for Jan. 5, 2017.

According to evidence presented at trial, in late summer 2014 Gold Care submitted millions of dollars’ worth of false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. The claims were for home health services that had never been provided and had not been legitimately prescribed by a physician. As a result of those false and fraudulent claims, Medicare reimbursed Gold Care approximately $2.5 million. Garcia used a “straw” or nominee owner in an effort to execute and conceal the fraudulent scheme, the evidence showed. Approximately $2 million of the fraud proceeds her company received were laundered in cash transactions through fictitious shell companies located in Hialeah, Florida.

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