The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida announced on August 15, 2016 that Ramon Collado Gonzalez has pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of making a false statement in connection with a federal health care benefit program.
In his guilty plea, Collado Gonzalez admitted that he was recruited by Mildrey Gonzalez and Milka Alfaro, the owners of Golden Home Health Care Inc. (Golden), a home health care agency in Miami, to fraudulently represent himself as the owner of Golden. In return for concealing his alleged co-conspirators’ ownership interests, Collado Gonzalez received a monthly payment and periodic bonuses, although he did not do any actual work for Golden. His function was simply to sign off on a Medicare application and other documents for the purpose of facilitating submission of false claims to Medicare and concealing Mildrey Gonzalez’s and Alfaro’s ownership interests.
During the time Collado Gonzalez misrepresented himself as the owner, Golden received approximately $4.2 million from Medicare as a result of false and fraudulent claims.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged nearly 2,900 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $10 billion.
The charges to which Collado Gonzalez pled guilty were criminal charges. However, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, whistleblowers with information about similar fraud against government programs may bring a civil case on behalf of the United States. If such a case is successful, the government can recover up to three times the amount the defendants fraudulently billed the government. The whistleblower is then entitled to receive 15-30% of the government’s recovery and also entitled to receive reasonable attorney’s fees.
Read the full Department of Justice Press Release
To report fraud, please contact Frohsin & Barger.