By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2018 Journal GlobaLinks)
CHICAGO (JGL) – The assistant director of nursing of a Michigan home health agency was sentenced last March 29 to 36 months in prison for his role in a scheme involving
approximately $1.6-million in fraudulent Medicare claims for home health services that were obtained thru payment of kickbacks, and were medically unnecessary and not provided.
Juan Yrorita, 63, of Sterling Heights, Michigan, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain of the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. Yrorita was also ordered to pay $1,524,951.88 in restitution, jointly and severally with his conspirators, and to forfeit $49,823.41.
Yrorita will also be placed under supervised release for another 36 months.
Mr. Yrorita was one of the four others, including a doctor, who pleaded guilty before a jury trial last November 29, 2017. Another doctor was acquitted but another nurse was convicted after the trial.
As part of his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, Yrorita admitted that his co-conspirators at Anointed Care Services (Anointed), a Detroit-area home health agency, paid kickbacks to recruit Medicare beneficiaries.
Yrorita also admitted that as Anointed’s assistant director of nursing, he falsified medical records to support Anointed’s fraudulent claims to Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary and never provided.
During the trial, it was disclosed that Anointed submitted approximately $1.6-million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.
4 CHARGED, 1 ACQUITTED
Aside from Yrorita, the others charged were Editha Manzano, 70, of Troy, Michigan; Mr. Liberty Jaramillo, 67, also of Troy; Mr. Mark Buenaflor, both co-owners, controllers and managers of Anointed Care Services, of Troy; Roberto Quizon, M.D., 71, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; and Victoria Gallardo-Navarra, M.D., 74, also of Bloomfield Hills, in an indictment returned on Sept. 1, 2016.
Buenaflor, Jaramillo and Quizon all pleaded guilty in June 2017. Buenaflor is up for sentencing on May 21, 2018 while sentencing for Quizon is set on April 26, 2018 at 10 a.m. and Jaramillo is on April 19, 2018. Gallardo-Navarra was acquitted, and Manzano was convicted after trial and is due for sentencing on April 26, 2018 at 3 p.m..
Manzano was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks in connection with Medicare beneficiaries, and one count of health care fraud following a seven-day trial.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Schneider of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office made the announcement of Yrorita's sentencing.
The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Jacob Foster and Rebecca Szucs prosecuted the case.
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