Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nationwide Medicare fraud crackdown includes Tampa arrests

The latest Medicare fraud sweep has netted 90 arrests in six cities — including Tampa — involving false billings to the health care program of an estimated $260 million.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer in Miami said Wednesday more than half of the arrests were in South Florida, long the nation's leader in health care fraud.

Arrests were also made in Houston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Brooklyn and Tampa.

In Tampa, seven individuals were charged in a variety of schemes, ranging from fraudulent physical therapy billings to a scheme involving millions of dollars in physician services and tests that never occurred.

In one case, five individuals — David Brock Lovelace, Terri L. Schneider, Gregory J. Sylvestri, Leonard Austin and Illya C. Jackson — were charged for their alleged roles in a health care fraud and money-laundering schemes that involved billing Medicare using names of beneficiaries, according to an indictment. Other indictments for Medicare fraud were handed up against presidents of two Florida rehabilitation clinics, Laura Leyva and Jesus Rabeiro Souto.

Among those arrested nationwide were doctors, nurses and other health professionals, as well as some Medicare beneficiaries who authorities say sell their entitlement to the highest bidders. Another emerging fraud trend is misuse of Medicare's prescription drug benefit through shady pharmacies.

Since 2007, Medicare Fraud Strike Force teams in nine cities have brought charges against about 1,900 people who falsely billed the taxpayer-funded program more than $6 billion

Nationwide Medicare fraud crackdown includes Tampa arrests 05/13/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman

    Blogs

    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.