Tampa clinics prompt healthcare fraud charges - WRBL

Tampa clinics prompt healthcare fraud charges

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Four Miami men are accused of running medical clinics in Tampa as part of a fraud scheme to obtain Medicare funds.

The men were indicted on federal healthcare fraud charges as part of a larger national Medicare fraud "take down" operation. Nearly 90 people are charged in eight different cities, accused of submitting more than $223 million in false Medicare billings.

"We're sending a clear message across the country to anyone seeking to defraud Medicare," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. "You will get caught and you will pay the price."

The investigation included HHS and its Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI.

In Tampa, Miami residents Dixan Barcelo-Castro and Juan Gonzalez-Castro, and Jose Fresco and Alfredo Barcelo-Rodriguez allegedly ran the four clinics out of the same address on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., according to a federal indictment. The clinics are no longer operating there.

As part of the scheme, the men allegedly enrolled individuals in Medicare plans and then  charged the government for vein treatment services – known as "endovenous vein ablation" procedures – that were never performed, according to the indictment.

The clinics had staff and performed some minor cosmetic procedures,  but not the larger services that were used to claim more than $2.5 million in Medicare funds, according to the indictment.

 

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