Owner Of Durable Medical Equipment Company And Three Physicians Charged With Health Care Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft

SAN JUAN, P.R. – On February 13, 2017, a Federal Grand Jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a superseding indictment charging Dr. Dante A. Rodríguez-Rivera, Javier Efraín Siverio-Echevarría, Dr. George D. Alcántara-Cardi, Dr. Martha Nieves, Javier Antonio Aguirre- Estrada, and Carlos Maldonado-López with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, from on or about February 20, 2007, and continuing through on or about July 18, 2013, the defendants conspired with each other and with other individuals known and unknown to the grand jury to defraud Medicare. The federal charges stem from an alleged scheme whereby Javier Efraín Siverio-Echevarría, as owner of Equipomed Care Corp., a durable medical equipment company with offices in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, would use the personal identifying information of Medicare beneficiaries, to invoice Medicare for durable medical equipment that these beneficiaries did not need or to whom the equipment would not be delivered.

The indictment alleges that Siverio-Echevarría procured the signature of prescription forms and Medicare documents from doctors who had not seen or examined the Medicare beneficiaries, including in particular Dr. Dante A. Rodríguez-Rivera, Dr. George D. Alcántara-Cardi, and Dr. Martha Nieves, to fraudulently invoice Medicare for durable medical equipment that was not medically necessary for these beneficiaries. Javier Antonio Aguirre-Estrada and Carlos Maldonado-López were employees of Equipomed Care Corp. and they aided the other defendants in the perpetration of the fraudulent scheme by submitting electronic invoices to Medicare and by convincing Medicare beneficiaries to accept medical equipment that they had not requested and that they did not need. The defendants fraudulently invoiced an amount in excess of $1,276,874.10 to Medicare through the three conspiracies charged in the superseding indictment.

 

This case was investigated by the HHS-OIG, FBI, United States Secret Service and the Puerto Rico Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennise N. Longo Quiñones of the Financial Fraud and Corruption Unit.

Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

SOURCE: USAO, District of Puerto Rico

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