13 accused of health care fraud in Puerto Rico

AP News
Posted: Sep 01, 2011 5:03 PM
13 accused of health care fraud in Puerto Rico

Thirteen people including three doctors have been indicted for conspiracy to commit health care fraud, according to a statement Thursday from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The first indictment accuses Jose Lopez Diaz of charging Medicare more than half a million dollars for services never rendered at a medical center where he never worked. Lopez also is accused of billing Medicare for a procedure he claimed he performed on female patients that can only be done on men, prosecutors say.

Also charged is Lopez's brother, Carlos Lopez Diaz, a dentist whom prosecutors say provided his brother with names and Medicare beneficiary numbers of his patients.

Two daughters of Jose Lopez Diaz also are accused of filling out fake claim forms and receiving gifts from their father as rewards.

A second indictment accuses Dr. Edgard Rivera Morales of overbilling Medicare for a muscle relaxer and receiving nearly $660,000 in return.

A third indictment accuses Damaris Carrasco Flores, president of a medical equipment company, and Nahomy Baez Martinez, the employee of a local Medicare carrier, of filing more than 1,000 fraudulent claims. Prosecutors say Carrasco received more than $1 million as a result of the fraud and accuse her of paying Baez more than $250,000 for her help.

A fourth indictment accuses Maria Montiel and husband Armando Montiel, the owners of Care Plus, of submitting more than 464 false claims to Medicare for more than $1.5 million in medical equipment.

It was not immediately clear whether any of the suspects had attorneys.