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Prosecutor honored for achievement

Gary H. Montilla, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa, has been honored with the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association's National Award for Prosecutorial Achievement.

The assistant U.S. attorney was responsible for the prosecution of 10 percent of all federal health care fraud cases in the nation in 1998. Montilla's most significant accomplishment, the association said, was the charging of 16 individuals in the U.S. attorney's "Psychiatric Hospitals Project."

Defendants charged in that five-year investigation were involved in patient brokering, or taking kickbacks for placing patients into several Tampa Bay area treatment facilities. Montilla was credited with innovative use of federal statutes to charge the patient brokers with interstate travel in aid of racketeering, income tax crimes, illegal payments to union officials and kickback violations.

Montilla prosecuted 21 people in other health care areas last year, including defendants charged with fraud in adult congregate living facilities, impotence clinics, diagnostic testing services, nursing homes and acupuncture businesses.

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