Mother and Daughter Owners of Home Health Agencies Each Sentenced to Over 10 Years in Prison for Roles in $20 Million Fraud Scheme
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team
A mother and daughter who secretly co-owned and operated seven home health care agencies in the Miami, Florida area were each sentenced to over 10 years in prison for their roles in a $20 million Medicare fraud conspiracy that involved paying illegal health care kickbacks to patient recruiters and medical professionals.
Mildrey Gonzalez, 61, and her daughter, Milka Alfaro, 39, both of Miami, were sentenced to 135 and 151 months in prison, respectively, for their roles in the scheme. The defendants were further ordered to pay approximately $22,900,000 in joint and several restitution. Mother and daughter each pleaded guilty on March 2, having been charged in a July 2016 superseding indictment. Gonzalez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of health care fraud, while Alfaro pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.
The mother and daughter fraudsters previously admitted that they secretly co-owned and operated seven home health agencies in the Miami area, yet failed to disclose their ownership interests in any of these agencies to Medicare, as required by relevant rules and regulations. In addition, they admitted to paying illegal health care kickbacks to a network of patient recruiters in order to bring Medicare beneficiaries into the scheme, to paying bribes and kickbacks to medical professionals in return for providing home health referrals, and to directing co-conspirators to open shell corporations, into which millions of dollars’ worth of fraud proceeds were funneled. Furthermore, Alfaro and Gonzalez each admitted to perjuring themselves at a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman of the Southern District of Florida, to attempting to influence the testimony of potential trial witnesses, and to submitting false affidavits concerning their assets to the court. DOJ