Four FL providers charged with $110M HIV infusion fraud

A group of four people associated with an allegedly corrupt chain of HIV infusion clinics have been arrested and charged with a $110 million fraud scheme. An indictment from the U.S. Attorney's Office contends that between January 2001 and November 2004, brothers Carlos and Luis Benitez conspired to submit about $110 million in false claims to the Medicare program for HIV infusion services. The claims were for services allegedly delivered at 11 clinics the brothers owned and controlled. In addition to filing false claims, the brothers allegedly referred Medicare beneficiaries to the clinic, promising that they'd be paid kickbacks if they claimed to have gotten legitimate services. Carlos and Luis, along with brother Jose Benitez, also are accused of laundering the money they made by transferring millions into sham marketing and management companies they owned.

The indictment also cites Thomas McKenzie, a physician assistant at the HIV infusion clinics, claiming that McKenzie trained physicians and providers in how to make it appear that legitimate medical services were being provided. McKenzie also is accused of preparing documents to make it appear that the services were rendered and medically necessary.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of all assets held by all of the defendants. Carlos and Luis Benitez each face maximum sentences of 155 years in prison, while Jose Benitez faces a maximum of 40 years. McKenzie a maximum of 50 years.

To learn more about the fraud case:
- read this South Florida Business Journal article

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