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Patient Recruiter Sentenced for Involvement in Detroit Medicare Fraud Scam

June 7, 2011, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that Reynel Betancourt, a 51 year-old Miami resident, was sentenced for his involvement in a $9 million Medicare fraud scheme originating in metro Detroit. His penalty includes 77 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Betancourt was also ordered to repay about $6 million of restitution jointly and severally with his co-defendants.

Betancourt pled guilty in March of this year to one count of money laundering conspiracy and one count conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The plea documents reveal that in approximately March 2006, Betancourt agreed to recruit patients for Dearborn Medical Rehabilitation Center (“DMRC”), a company which falsely claimed to provide infusion and injection services to Medicare patients. Betancourt admitted to paying patients to sign documents for purported medical services and medications. He also admitted that the more than $9 million of services billed to Medicare by DMRC were not medically necessary and were not actually performed. In addition, Betancourt admitted to laundering these fraudulent proceeds through two sham corporations.

Operations of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in nine locations have charged in excess of 1,000 defendants for falsely billing Medicare a total of more than $2.3 billion since March 2007.

For more information on health care fraud and abuse enforcement in Michigan and how to avoid becoming a target, please contact Robert S. Iwrey, Esq., and for information on compliance please contact Abby Pendleton, Esq., both at (248) 996-8510 or (212) 734-0128, or visit the HLP website.

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