6 in Miami charged in hospital health fraud (update 1)

Seen at MySuncoast.com:

Six people in Miami are facing federal fraud charges in an alleged scheme to steal patient information from a hospital.

Miami U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said Tuesday the six people used the stolen information to submit about $8 million in false claims to Medicare. The information involving about 1,500 people was taken from computer files at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston in 2005 and 2006.

A former clinic employee pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for taking the files, which she sold to a cousin who used the information for Medicare fraud. That man, 31-year-old Fernando Ferrer Jr., is serving a 7-year prison sentence.

Comment: this story is a follow-up to a story included in the 2006 Chronology of Breaches [pdf] here and here.

Update:  The Miami Herald has more on the six medical equipment providers who have been charged with Medicare fraud for using the stolen patient information:

The six defendants are: Remberto Sarmiento Perez, 45, of Miami, owner of Super Medical Supply Inc. and APR Medical Equipment Inc.; Michell Gonzalez Benitez, 28, of Hialeah, owner of Premium Medical Care Inc.; Julio Perez Ramos, 33, of Miami, owner of Benefica Rehabilitation Center Inc.; Yordano Ruviera Diaz, 30, of Miami, owner of De La Torre Medical Equipment Inc.; Lazaro Hernandez Hernandez, 43, of Miami, owner of W.P. Medical Supply Inc.; and Ariel Gonzalez, 36, of Miami, owner of IMP Medical Equipment Inc.

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