TAMPA — The owners of a Wesley Chapel marketing company this week pleaded guilty to a federal charge that they conspired to help defraud the U.S. military’s Tricare health care service of more than $4.4 million.
Frank Vincent Monte, 40, of Valrico, and Kimberley Sue Anderson, 52, of New Port Richey each face up to five years in federal prison. Each also has agreed to forfeit more than $1.7 million in assets.
Federal prosecutors say they already have forfeited real estate in Land O’Lakes and Plant City that was bought with the proceeds of the fraud as well as sports cars that included a 2012 Lamborghini Aventador, a 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, a 2014 Maserati, a 2012 Fisker Karma, a 2010 Ferrari California coupe, a 2013 McLaren 12C Spider convertible and a 2012 Porsche Panamera.
Through their company, Centurion Compounding, Monte and Anderson worked with the owners of the now-closed Lifecare pharmacy on 13th Avenue N in St. Petersburg and Dr. Anthony Baldizzi of Tierra Verde.
Centurion recruited the patients. Baldizzi wrote prescriptions for pain creams that typically cost $900 to $21,000 for a one-month supply. Lifecare processed the scripts and paid kickbacks from claims paid by Tricare or other health care programs. The agreed-upon split of profits from the conspiracy was 45 percent each to Lifecare and Centurion and 10 percent to Baldizzi, who also received a new $72,000 BMW M3.
Lifecare owners Carlos Mazariegos and Benjamin Nundy already have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Baldizzi last year pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and receiving kickbacks. The three are scheduled to be sentenced in November and December. A sentencing date for Monte and Anderson has not been set.
Federal prosecutors say the guilty pleas from Monte and Anderson conclude a five-year investigation that resulted in the successful prosecution of 10 people, the repayment of $6 million to Tricare by the conspirators and the reversal or repayment of another $58 million in Tricare claims.
Contact Richard Danielson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times