Miami-Area Resident Pleads Guilty to Participating in $200 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

WASHINGTON – A Miami-area resident pleaded guilty today for his role in structuring monetary transactions to provide cash for the furtherance of a fraud scheme that resulted in the submission of more than $200 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Lazaro Acosta, 41, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz in Miami to one count of currency structuring to avoid reporting requirements.  Acosta admitted that he structured currency transactions to avoid reporting requirements so he could provide $2.4 million in cash to the owners and operators of American Therapeutic Corporation (ATC); its management company, Medlink Professional Management Group Inc.; and the American Sleep Institute (ASI).

On March 21, 2012, Acosta’s co-defendant, Leyanes Placeres, 31, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrea Simonton in Miami to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive illegal health care kickbacks.  Placeres admitted that she participated in the fraud scheme orchestrated by the ATC, Medlink and ASI owners and operators.  Placeres and Acosta were both charged in an indictment unsealed on Feb. 15, 2011, in the Southern District of Florida.

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