September 1, 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 Director of Immunization Safety Admits Bias and Withholding Data Linking Vaccines to Autism

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Dr. DeStefano has publicly stated that while he will reveal the data again, but that he is standing by the original study. A new audio recording of a conversation he just had with independent investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has just been posted on the Internet.

In this interview, Dr. DeStefano, who is not a whistle-blower, has come out with his own confession of bias and way of interpreting data so that it does not have to be shared with the public if it is not favorable with what they want to communicate regarding vaccines.

Dr. DeSefano and the CDC is being forced to answer questions like this (which unfortunately the mainstream media as of yet are NOT asking) because his co-author on the study, Dr. William Thompson, has hired one of the top whistleblower attorney’s in the nation so that he can come forward and reveal all the data the CDC has been hiding in regards to vaccines and autism.

60+ Natural ALS Cures the “Ice Washing” Campaign Isn’t Funding!

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MSM Marginalizes CDC Whistleblower Story on Vaccine-Autism Coverup

MSM Marginalizes CDC Whistleblower Story on Vaccine-Autism Coverup

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CNN was the first mainstream media (MSM) outlet to publish a story on the CDC whistleblower story linking vaccines to autism. Predictably, CNN marginalized this story on their website, and then posted a video from their TV network which said nothing about the CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson, but simply reiterated the MSM’s belief that all vaccines are safe and do not cause autism. They have posted a video that incorrectly represents facts regarding infant mortality and current whooping cough outbreaks that are occurring among fully vaccinated populations.

How can we trust anything CNN says on the vaccine issue if they misrepresent such basic facts regarding vaccines that are easily verified by 3rd party sources?

This story regarding the CDC cover-up has become too big for the MSM to ignore. They have to address it, but predictably they will continue to cover the story from their own belief system that the vaccine-autism debate is over, and that only one side of the debate should be heard. For those reporters that would dare to cover both sides of the debate, they will soon be without a career in MSM. So perhaps the American public needs to wake up and acknowledge this fact, and research the issue for themselves. A current senior scientist working for the CDC who has regrets over his participation in covering up data linking vaccines to autism is something worth taking some time to research.

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.”

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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.

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