Clinic owners plead guilty to Medicare fraud

Jan 16, 2009

South Florida Business Journal--January 15, 2009

The owners of two Miami medical clinics, along with a phlebotomist, have pleaded guilty to defrauding the Medicare program in connection with a $5.3 million HIV and cancer infusion fraud scheme, according to the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Juan A. “Tony” Marrero, 41, and Belkis Marrero, 41, admitted that, from August 2004 through November 2006 they conspired with others to submit about $5.3 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare.

A third defendant, Luz Borrego, 43, acknowledged her role in the fraud at Medcore, where she was a phlebotomist who administered unnecessary drugs intravenously to HIV patients.

Tony Marrero also pleaded guilty to two separate counts of money laundering.

The defendants admitted that they, or their co-conspirators, entered into kickback arrangements with Medicare beneficiaries whereby the beneficiaries were paid every week in exchange for their Medicare billing information, which allowed the clinics to submit the fraudulent bills.

Sentencing for all three is scheduled for April 3.

Four co-defendants are scheduled for trial Feb. 9.