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Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Office

Two Florida Residents Sentenced for $93M Health Care Fraud

Two people were recently arrested for their involvement in defrauding Medicare of more than $93 million that was supposed to be used for home health therapy services but was never used for that purpose. The case was prosecuted in federal court.

One of the two was sentenced to eight years imprisonment while the other nearly six years. They were both ordered to pay back the defrauded money.

The way this defrauding allegedly took place was by submitting false bills to Medicare for three nonexistent home health companies.

Fraud as a State Crime

Florida law states that fraud is when someone deceives another person intentionally. There are several types of fraud such as:

  • welfare fraud,

  • credit card fraud,

  • securities fraud,

  • Medicare fraud,

  • insurance fraud,

  • identity theft/fraud,

  • mortgage fraud.

In Florida, a fraud crime could be a misdemeanor or felony. This all depends on the circumstances, how much money is involved, and the statute that is used in the charge.

Florida law states that any effort made to defraud $50,000 or more is a felony in the first degree, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Amounts less than $50,000 but up to $20,000 are second-degree felonies and punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Amounts between $300 and less than $20,000 are felonies in the third degree, and punishable by up to five years in prison. Any amount below $300 is a misdemeanour in the first degree and punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1000 fine.

Penalties for Felony Fraud

  • First-degree felony: a $10,000 fine and a prison term of up to 30 years;

  • Second-degree felony: a $10,000 fine and up to a prison term of 15 years;

  • Third-degree felony: a fine of $5,000 and a prison term of 5 years.

Penalties for Misdemeanor Fraud

A misdemeanor in the first degree could result in the following penalties:

  • up to 12 months in county jail;

  • 1 year probation;

  • a $1,000 maximum fine.

Federal fraud penalties imposed by federal statutes could be:

  • up to a 30 year prison term;

  • $1 million in fines for incidences of major fraud leveled against the USA;

  • up to a 20 year prison term and $250,000 in fines for wire, healthcare, bank, or securities fraud;

  • up to a 5 year prison term with $250,000 in fines for other federal fraud crimes.

Federal sentencing will depend on the specific charges and calculated loss amounts. Other factors like prior criminal history and the recommendations under the sentencing guidelines will be considered by the judge.

Even when the fines are paid and the time in prison has been completed, there could be long probation periods to be endured as well as community control. A permanent criminal record will likely remain as a mark on you for the remainder of your life.

When you face a fraud charge, it means you could end up in prison for a long time and even when you are released you will be burdened with a permanent criminal record which may stop you getting a job, including joining the military, and renting a place to live may be impossible.

This means you should hire the right criminal defense attorney to vigorously defend you against a fraud charge. In Miami, contact Albert Quirantes Esq., Criminal, DUI and Ticket Lawyers at 305-644-1800. He will do all he can to get your fraud charges thrown out.


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