Florida Strike Force has another win in the fight against Medicare Fraud with Medical Equipment Company
Florida's Strike Force team has another successful win to celebrate in the fight against Medicare Fraud and qui tam. Marianela Smith, Owner and Operator of a Florida durable medical equipment company and an assisted living facility was convicted by a federal jury in Miami of Medicare fraud and submitting false claims to Medicare among other things, such as kickbacks.
According to reports from the Department of Justice, Marianela Smith conspired with the owners of Lily’s Pharmacy to refer paid patients to the pharmacy in exchange for half of what Medicare paid for “compounded” aerosols. Compounding is the process of a pharmacist making medication as opposed to a pharmaceutical manufacturer. She referred patients and their Medicare billing information to the owners of Lily’s Pharmacy and gave false prescriptions for compounded aerosol medications purchased from local physicians. A patient testified during trial that he was paid $150 per month to use his Medicare card and to obtain false prescriptions in his name that were ultimately provided to the pharmacy. This medicare fraud scheme with Lily’s Pharmacy fraudulently billed Medicare more than $271,000 for the false prescriptions for compounded aerosol medications provided by Smith. In exchange, Smith received more than $81,000 in kickbacks.
Marianella faces up to 30 years in prison for her role in this Medicare Fraud scheme. What amount of money could be worth this great risk of freedom?
We salute our special force fraud team for all of their hard work and successful efforts, including Assistant Chief John Kelly, Trial Attorney Hank Walther of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division, Deputy Chief Kirk Ogrosky of the Fraud Section and last but not least U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida.
Click here to read more from the Department of Justice on the Medicare fraud case against Marianella Smith.