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July 01, 2022

Conviction of Two Individuals Convicted in $1.4 Billion Health Care Fraud Scheme Involving Rural Hospitals in Three States

A federal jury in the Middle District of Florida convicted two individuals, Jorge Perez, 62, and Ricardo Perez, 59, for conspiring to engage in an elaborate and sophisticated pass-through billing and money laundering scheme, and for fraudulently billing approximately $1.4 billion for medically unnecessary laboratory testing services. According to the evidence proffered at trial, the scheme involved use of financially distressed rural hospitals across various states, including Campbellton-Graceville Hospital and Regional General Hospital of Williston in Florida, Chestatee Regional Hospital in Georgia, and Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Missouri.  Jorge Perez and Ricardo Perez used management agreements and purchases to obtain control of these rural hospitals. The hospitals were used as billing shells for submission of claims for laboratory testing services that were actually performed by outside laboratories controlled by others involved in the scheme and that were in many instances medically unnecessary. The maximum penalties Jorge Perez and Ricardo Perez face are twenty (20) years in prison for each of the health care fraud and wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy counts, and ten (10) years in prison for each substantive health care fraud count. Jorge Perez and Ricardo Perez’s sentences will be determined at a later date.

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