FLORIDA–(ENEWSPF)–March 7, 2016. A Land O’ Lakes, Florida, businessman was sentenced by a judge in federal court in Tampa today to 174 months in prison for his role in a multimillion-dollar health care fraud and money laundering scheme.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III of the Middle District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Shimon R. Richmond of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Miami Regional Office and Special Agent in Charge Paul Wysopal of the FBI’s Tampa Field Office made the announcement.
In December 2015, a jury in Tampa found David Brock Lovelace, 45, guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, health care fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. Judge Steven D. Merryday of the Middle District of Florida imposed today’s sentence and also ordered Lovelace to pay $2,512,460 in restitution.
According to evidence presented at trial, from approximately June 2010 through approximately May 2014, Lovelace and co-conspirators used Cornerstone Health Specialists, Summit Health Specialists and Coastal Health Specialists, three purported medical clinics in Florida, to submit approximately $12,351,046 in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare seeking reimbursement for radiology, audiology, cardiology and neurology services. Medicare paid approximately $2,848,424 in reimbursement on the fraudulent claims. Trial evidence also showed that Lovelace and his co-conspirators paid illegal kickbacks in exchange for access to Medicare patients and Medicare patient information used in the fraud scheme, used forged and falsified documents in the Medicare enrollment process for the medical clinics, and billed Medicare for services that had not been rendered by physicians. The conspirators transferred and disbursed proceeds of the fraudulent Medicare claims among themselves, through shell companies and via numerous cash withdrawals in an effort to conceal the fraud, according to evidence at trial.
HHS-OIG and the FBI investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. Senior Trial Attorney Christopher J. Hunter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $6 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Team (HEAT), go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.