A federal grand jury has returned an indictment which charges the operators of United Life Corp., a health clinic in Hialeah, Florida, with various charges involving defrauding the Medicare system.
The defendants are:
Lester Miranda, age 31 of Miami Beach, Florida, Ariel Estevez, age 32 of Hialeah, Florida, Luis Garcia Higgins, age 46, of Sunny Isles, Florida, Karina Estevez, age 32 of Hialeah, Florida, who have been charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and health care fraud that resulted from the conspiracy.
Miranda and Ariel Estevez are also charged with the crime of conspiracy to commit money laundering and committing the crime of money laundering as a result of the conspiracy.
All of the defendants have also been charged jointly and individually in an additional forfeiture count.
Another defendant, Rupert Francis, age 66 of Davie, Florida, has been charged separately for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. This defendant has agreed to wave his right to indictment and has pleaded guilty to the charge and as a result he has agreed to hand in his medical license.
The indictment charges that the defendants did establish the medical center known as United Life Corp. and that center was used for the purpose of defrauding the Medicare program.
Lester Miranda was the owner of the clinic, Ariel Estevez was the one in charge of running the clinic on a day to day basis, Karina Estevez, who is Ariel’s wife, was a medical assistant and also helped to manage the clinic. Luis Garcia Higgins was a physician’s assistant who was employed at the clinic and Rupert Francis was the physician.
Garcia Higgins and Francis were employees of the United States Bureau of Prisons at the same time they were running the clinic. At the time, Francis was employed as a staff physician, Garcia Higgins was a physician’s assistant. They were employed full time at the Federal Detention Center-Miami. They resigned in April 2006.
At first the clinic was seeing patients with many different diseases. This changed about September of 2004 when there was a dramatic increase in the number of HIV patients and they decided to become a center for HIV patients exclusively.
The clinic stopped operations in February of 2005. From January up until that time the clinic billed somewhere around $7,785,856 to Medicare and received about $2,042,633 from Medicare for allegedly giving treatments of intravenous immune globulin medications that they said were administered to their HIV patients.
Source: FBI http://miami.fbi.gov/