A federal jury in the Southern District of Florida convicted a Florida woman yesterday for paying kickbacks in exchange for Medicare patient referrals.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Nelly Anderson, 58, of Bay Harbor Islands, was the owner of Dial 4 Care, a business that provided home health services to Medicare beneficiaries. She hired multiple marketers and paid them kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals. Anderson then caused the submission of claims to Medicare for home health services that were procured through the payment of illegal kickbacks.
The jury convicted Anderson of conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay health care kickbacks, and two counts of paying kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 5 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for the conspiracy count and 10 years in prison for each of the kickback offenses. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Veltri of the FBI Miami Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Omar Pérez Aybar of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Regional Office made the announcement.
The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Jessica Massey and Charles Strauss of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marx Calderon for the Southern District of Florida is handling asset forfeiture aspects of the case. Trial Attorney Patrick J. Queenan of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section assisted with the investigation.
The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s efforts to combat health care fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program. Since March 2007, this program, comprised of 15 strike forces operating in 25 federal districts, has charged more than 5,000 defendants who collectively have billed federal health care programs and private insurers more than $24 billion. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, are taking steps to hold providers accountable for their involvement in health care fraud schemes. More information can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/health-care-fraud-unit.