A Miami pharmacy owner and her son have pleaded guilty to a scheme to bilk Medicare out of $16 million by submitting claims for medically unnecessary prescriptions. Niurka Fernandez, 54, and Roberto Alvarez, 29, both of Miami, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Prosecutors say Fernandez, an owner of Calan Pharmacy & Discount Service LLC and Bertyann Corp., also known as Best Pharmacy – two pharmacies located in Miami-Dade County, Fla. – admitted to organizing and playing a lead role in the scam. The fraudsters paid Medicare beneficiaries and patient recruiters for prescriptions that weren’t medically necessary. They also billed Medicare for many other prescription medications that were not dispensed to the designated beneficiaries.
Alvarez also admitted to being involved in the Medicare fraud at Best Pharmacy, where he purportedly worked as a pharmacy technician, but actually facilitated kickback payments to Medicare patients. He also wrote checks to money launderers in order to get cash for the kickbacks. As a result of the scheme, Medicare made more than $16 million in overpayments to Calan Pharmacy and Best Pharmacy.
The case was brought as part of a push by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Medicare Fraud Strike Force, implemented in March 2007 and now operating in nine cities around the country. As part of the dragnet, the government has charged almost 2,900 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $10 billion.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.