A former physician and his business partner were hit with prison time for their role in a $7.1 million scheme to defraud Medicare by filing false enrollment documents.
Camilo Q. Primero, 76, of San Dimas, California, and Aurora S. Beltran, 63, of Glendora, California, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and money laundering and were sentenced to 33 months in prison, according to an announcement from the Department of Justice.
In addition, each was sentenced to three years of supervised release following the prison term and each will have to pay nearly $2.5 million in restitution.
Primero is the former owner of three Las Vegas home health and hospice providers—Angel Eye Hospice, Vision Home Health Care and Advent Hospice—and Beltran was his business partner.
The pair allegedly conspired to file fraudulent Medicare enrollment documents to allow Primero to operate the facilities even though he was barred from participation in federal healthcare programs, according to the DOJ.
Primero and Beltran also filed false hospice claims for patients who were not terminally ill and thus did not need such services, according to the DOJ.
They had been convicted previously in a similar fraud case in California, the DOJ said, in which they defrauded the state’s insurance system through Beltran House, a residential facility for disabled adults.
The sentence was announced a little over a week after a Florida healthcare executive was found guilty in another post-acute care fraud scheme, one of the largest in U.S. history at $1.3 billion.
Philip Esformes, the owner of several skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, was found guilty of 18 counts for his role in the scheme, in which he bribed doctors to refer patients to his facilities. They were then given medically unnecessary services that were billed to Medicare and Medicaid, according to the DOJ.
Esformes has not been sentenced.