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Home Health Care Operator Indicted in Alleged Medicare Fraud Scheme Totaling $20 Million

Federal law enforcement officials announced on June 29, 2011 that Jacinto “John” Gabriel, Jr., a Chicago man responsible for operating two home health care businesses, was indicted in an alleged $20 million Medicare fraud scheme spanning five years. The 15-count indictment includes health care fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.

According to court documents, Gabriel exercised control and ownership over Perpetual Home Health, Inc. and Legacy Home Healthcare Services in Illinois. Between 2006 and 2011, Perpetual submitted in excess of 14,000 Medicare claims and received more than $38 million in Medicare payments; the business was one of the biggest recipients of Medicare payments for home health services in Illinois. Between 2008 and 2011, Legacy submitted in excess of 2,000 Medicare claims and received more than $5 million in Medicare payments. Both businesses have recently closed and no longer receive Medicare payments.

Gabriel, with the assistance of his co-schemers, allegedly submitted false claims worth millions of dollars. The purported home health care services were inflated in price, not medically necessary, or were never provided. The illegal proceeds were used for various purposes including lavish personal uses and to perpetuate the illegal scheme. The schemers attempted to conceal the fraudulent proceeds by instructing the businesses to issue checks to factitious entities, friends and associates. The charges also allege that Gabriel cashed checks in amounts under $10,000 to avoid federal currency transaction reporting requirements.

The continuing investigation is being conducted by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Gabriel will be arraigned at a future date.

For more information on government investigations, please contact Robert S. Iwrey, Esq. For assistance with compliance please contact Abby Pendleton, Esq. or Jessica L. Gustafson, Esq. The attorneys may be reached at (248) 996-8510 or (212) 734-0128. More information may also be obtained at the HLP website.

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