The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that two Florida residents have been sentenced for their roles in an extensive conspiracy to defraud Medicare by claiming over $93 million for home health therapy services that were never performed.
Miami Shores resident Karel Felipe, 42, received an eight-year and four-month prison sentence. Hialeah resident Tamara Quicutis, 54, received a five-year, ten-month prison sentence.
After a jury found the defendants guilty of conspiring to commit money laundering, wire fraud, and health care fraud, they were both found guilty in October 2023. The forfeiture of fraud proceeds was also mandated by the court.
Felipe and Quicutis allegedly planned with others to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare on behalf of three home health organizations in Michigan, as per court records and evidence produced during the trial. Their accomplices enlisted Cuban citizens to sign Medicare enrollment forms and pose as the home health agencies’ proprietors in order to hide the identity of Quicutis, Felipe, and other scheme participants.
Using lists of stolen patient names, Felipe, Quicutis, and their accomplices are accused of using these home health organizations to file claims for services that were never provided. To launder the earnings of the Medicare fraud and turn them into cash at ATMs and check cashing shops in the Miami region, Felipe, Quicutis, and their accomplices used hundreds of bank accounts and dozens of shell corporations.
In a prior court case, four more Floridians received sentences.
- 52-year-old Miami resident Jesus Trujillo was given a 14-year jail sentence after entering a guilty plea to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and health care fraud conspiracy. In addition, the court ordered the confiscation of two real estates in order to fulfill the forfeiture money judgment for $44,351,817, the amount implicated in money laundering.
- Didier Arcia, 44, of Davenport, was given a sentence of six years and eight months in jail after admitting guilt to the charge of conspiring to commit money laundering.
- Miami resident Alexey Gil, 41, received a sentence of five years and five months in prison. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct wire fraud and health care fraud.
- Jeffrey Avila, 33, a Miami resident as well, admitted guilt to conspiring to launder money and was given a sentence of time served and supervised release.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI Miami Field Office, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Stephen Mahmood of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Miami Regional Office made the announcement.
FBI took over the matter after the primary investigating authorities found out the amount of money that was involved in the act.
The Fraud Section of the Criminal Division’s trial attorneys, Jamie de Boer, D. Keith Clouser, and Emily Gurskis, prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabrielle Raemy Charest-Turken for the Southern District of Florida is managing asset forfeiture.