FROM: U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
Monday, October 27, 2014
Former President and Owner of Rehabilitation Clinic Pleaded Guilty in Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III of the Middle District of Florida, Acting Special Agent in Charge Derrick Jackson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Miami Regional Office and Special Agent in Charge Paul Wysopal of the FBI’s Tampa Field Office made the announcement.
Laura Leyva, 45, of Miami Lakes, Florida, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Her sentencing date will be set by the court.
According statements made in court, from June 2007 through November 2009, Leyva was the president and owner of American Rehab of Kissimmee Inc., aka American Rehab of South Florida Inc., a comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility located in Kissimmee, Florida, and Hialeah, Florida. During that time period, American Rehab submitted approximately $2,543,368 in false and fraudulent claims for reimbursement to Medicare seeking payment for rehabilitation therapy services that were not legitimately prescribed and not provided. Medicare paid approximately $1,074,278 on those claims. Co-conspirators falsified and forged medical records were used to give the appearance that therapy services were rendered to Medicare beneficiaries at American Rehab when, in fact, they were not. Leyva admitted that she destroyed falsified medical records in order to conceal evidence of the health care fraud and money laundering scheme.
This case is being investigated by HHS-OIG and the FBI and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Christopher J. Hunter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $6 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.