On November 21, 2017, it was announced that the owner and operator of two defunct Miami home health agencies had been sentenced to prison for her role in a $74 million conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program. 59-year-old Sila Luis of Miami, Florida was sentenced to 80 months in prison for her participation in the scheme. Luis has also been ordered to pay $45 million in restitution and to forfeit the gross proceeds linked to the crime.
The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud on June 28, 2017. Luis admitted that between January 2006 and June 2012 and she her co-conspirators operated LTC Professional Consultants Inc. to fraudulently bill the Medicare program for home health services. Luis also owned and controlled Professional Home Care Solutions Inc. during this time period.
The defendant also admitted to enlisting and paying kickbacks and bribes to patient recruiters in exchange for the referral of Medicare beneficiaries. Had Medicare been aware of the bribes and kickbacks, it would not have paid any of the claims submitted on behalf of the beneficiaries. In an indictment returned on October 3, 2017, Luis was charged with 49-year-old Elsa Ruiz and 68-year-old Myriam Acevedo.
Acevedo pleaded guilty. She was sentenced to 60 months and was ordered to pay $27 million in restitution. Ruiz pleaded guilty. She was sentenced to 80 months in prison and was ordered to pay $45 million in restitution. For additional details, be sure to click here.