August 29, 2014

First Miami defendant in nation’s biggest mental healthcare fraud case pleads guilty

pin it button First Miami defendant in nation’s biggest mental healthcare fraud case pleads guilty

massiveFraud First Miami defendant in nation’s biggest mental healthcare fraud case pleads guilty

by CCHR

Note from CCHR:  Governments and private health insurance companies have provided the mental health industry with billions of dollars every year to treat “mental illness,” only to face industry demands for even more funds to improve the supposed, ever-worsening state of mental health. No other industry can afford to fail consistently and expect to get more funding.  A significant portion of these appropriations and insurance reimbursements has been lost due to financial fraud within the mental health industry, an international problem estimated to cost more than a hundred billion dollars every year.

  • The United States loses approximately $100 billion to health care fraud each year. Up to $20 billion of this is due to fraudulent practices in the mental health industry.
  • One of the largest health care fraud suits in US history was in mental health, yet it is the smallest sector within health care.
  • A study of US Medicaid and Medicare insurance fraud, especially in New York, over a twenty-year period, showed psychiatry to have the worst track record of all medical disciplines.
  • To find out more, download this free report from Massive Fraud: Psychiatry’s Corrupt Industry http://www.cchr.org/sites/default/files/CCHR_Pamphlet_Massive_Fraud_1.pdf

The Miami Herald

by Jay Weaver

The first Miami defendant in the nation’s largest mental healthcare fraud case pleaded guilty to paying millions of dollars in kickbacks in exchange for Medicare patients who didn’t need the costly therapy.

Her job as marketing director for a Miami-based mental healthcare chain was to bring in the patients and nobody did their job better than Margarita Acevedo.

Investigators say she paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to South Florida assisted-living facilities, halfway houses and recruiters to supply thousands of Medicare beneficiaries to American Therapeutic Corp.’s chain of seven clinics — patients who didn’t need the costly treatment.

On Thursday, Acevedo, 41, of Southwest Miami-Dade, pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay kickbacks in exchange for patients and conspiring to bilk between $100 million and $200 million from Medicare, in the largest mental healthcare fraud case in the country.

Her change of plea in a Miami federal court makes Acevedo the first defendant among 24 indicted since last fall to admit playing a role in American Therapeutic’s “massive fraud scheme” against the taxpayer-funded healthcare program for seniors and the disabled, according to court records.

She faces between 12 and 15 years in prison at her mid-July sentencing, according to sentencing guidelines.

Prosecutors are expected to recommend a lesser sentence because she is providing the Justice Department with an insider’s view of the alleged racket.

Her attorney, Ira Loewy, declined to comment Friday on her cooperation with authorities.

Acevedo, who joined American Therapeutic in 2005, admitted in a “factual” statement that “in her role as a manager, she worked with the [company] leaders and organizers in recruiting ALF and halfway house owners and supervised co-conspirators in tracking and paying the kickbacks.”

For their part, the residential operators acted as recruiters who took bribes from American Therapeutic’s clinics – $30 for each patient’s daily visit – for supplying thousands of Medicare beneficiaries to keep the racket rolling, authorities say.

American Therapeutic, founded in 2000, allegedly ran its operation for years, tapping into a stream of mentally ill patients who were supposed to have received treatment in local hospitals before qualifying for outpatient group therapy sessions.

Despite conspicuously high claims, the Medicare program never raised an eyebrow. Things began to unravel years later when clinic employees started complaining that many patients were beyond help because they suffered from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. One employee was fired, leading to a whistle-blower probe of American Therapeutic that became the foundation of the criminal investigation.

Acevedo’s bosses were Lawrence Duran, 48, of North Miami, and Marianella Valera, 39, of Miami, owners of American Therapeutic. They were charged with directing the conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program, leading a network of company employees, psychiatrists and patient recruiters who also face criminal charges.

In March, the couple’s lawyers told U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King that they plan to plead guilty, but they have not done so yet. Their trial is set for August.

Duran and Valera were poised to change their initial not guilty pleas, but a major dispute over how much the couple allegedly bilked from Medicare held up everything. Their lawyers, Lawrence Metsch and Arthur Tifford, have argued that the figure should be $83 million, the actual amount the federal program paid their company since 2003.

Justice Department attorney Jennifer Saulino has argued that the figure should be about $200 million, the amount their company billed Medicare during that period.

The feds have frozen the couple’s personal and corporate bank accounts, Saulino said. They also possess about $7 million in assets, such as luxury cars, real estate and jewelry, that authorities seized with a temporary restraining order.

. Duran, who was born in New York, and Valera, a native of Peru, are being held at the Federal Detention Center in Miami because a judge found both to be a flight risk.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/04/08/2158019/first-miami-defendant-in-nations.html#ixzz1JWLn8ftv

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CDC Whistleblower: Mercury in Vaccines Given to Pregnant Women Linked to Autism

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Today, the Autism Media Channel released a short video where CDC whistle-blower Dr. William Thompson states, in a phone call to Dr. Brian Hooker, that injecting mercury into pregnant women creates a “clear and present danger” to the unborn child. Thimerosal, a form of mercury used as a preservative in vaccines, was removed from most childhood vaccines a few years ago, but is still in the annual flu shot, which is recommended for pregnant women.

Dr. Thompson, in the video below, insists that this mercury in vaccines causes “tics” in children, and these tics are 4 times more prevalent in kids with autism. “Tics” are defined on the CDC website as: “Tics are sudden twitches, movements, or sounds that people do repeatedly. People who have tics cannot stop their body from doing these things. For example, a person with a motor tic might keep blinking over and over again. Or, a person with a vocal tic might make a grunting sound unwillingly.”

Watch the short 1 minute video.

CDC Responds: Admits Omitting Vaccine Data Linking Vaccines to Higher Rates of Autism

CDC Responds: Admits Omitting Vaccine Data Linking Vaccines to Higher Rates of Autism

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While the mainstream media continues to ignore what is becoming the biggest news event of the year, the CDC is scrambling to respond to damaging data that they were forced to release earlier this year clearly showing they had data linking vaccines to autism that they hid from the public. This issue can longer be hidden since one of the top researchers within the CDC, who co-authored several of the studies that supposedly showed no link between vaccines and autism, has decided to become a whistle-blower. He has yet to make an official statement, and it is thought that his attorney is seeking official whistle-blower status before he does so.

The CDC, on the other hand, has responded to Dr. Brian Hooker’s newly published study reanalyzing a 2004 CDC study that excluded data showing a significant increase in autism among African American boys who were vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. They supplied a response to the Next News Network, admitting they excluded certain data, and the reasons for doing so. Next News interviewed Dr. Hooker to discuss the CDC response. Dr. Hooker, through a 10-year legal battle with the CDC and hundreds of Freedom of Information requests, finally received the entire data sets from the CDC after Congressman Bill Posey stepped in to put pressure on them to release it. We also now know that Dr. Hooker was in contact for more than a year with an insider in the CDC who has become a whistle-blower, which undoubtedly applied pressure on the CDC to obey the law and release the data.

In this interview, Dr. Hooker states that the CDC is lying in their response, and the reason they are doing so is to protect the reputation of the MMR vaccine. He also points out that the CDC purchases $4 billion of vaccines from the vaccine industry every year, and are the last ones who should be trusted to do studies on vaccine safety due to their huge conflict of interest.

Social Workers Snatch Sick Kids Away from Parents on Fake Diagnosis

Social Workers Snatch Sick Kids Away from Parents on Fake Diagnosis

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The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) helps defend parents who chose to educate their children at home from medical tyranny and abuse. They are a non-profit organization that depends on contributions and membership fees to provide free legal representation. They have successfully litigated cases on parental rights all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

HSLDA recently announced they had taken on a case in Virginia where social workers removed two children from the home where they lived with their parents over a fake psychological diagnosis.

Is 16-Year-Old Boy Seized from Mother Being Used in Medical Research?

Is 16-Year-Old Boy Seized from Mother Being Used in Medical Research?

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It has been 4 months since Cook County officials and Lurie Children’s Hospital seized custody of 16-year-old Isaiah Rider from his mother Michelle Rider because she disagreed with his treatment and wanted to transfer him to another hospital.

Isaiah suffers from a condition called neurofibromatosis, and his mother originally brought him to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago because they had specialists on staff trained to treat this disease. But when Isaiah’s condition, which includes severe pain, was not getting any better, she decided to transfer him to a different hospital. As a result, Lurie Children’s Hospital stepped in and seized custody. Isaiah has recorded a video in support of his mother, who he is not allowed to see anymore.

In the report blow by Fox4kc, Michelle explains why she thinks they may be holding Isaiah: to do medical research. The top researchers in the world for neurofibromatosis are at Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the specialists there have previously told her that Isaiah’s case is “very rare.”

Data on Serious Hospital Errors Will Now Be Withheld from the Public

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Preventable medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the US, right after heart disease and cancer, claiming the lives of 210,000 Americans each year. More than two million people are affected by hospital-acquired infections each year, and 75,000-100,000 people die as a result of those infections. The federal government has quietly decided to “solve” the problem of hospital acquired conditions by burying the data.

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