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Conviction in $9.1 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, May 9, 2011

A federal jury convicted Martin and Joaquin Tasis, owners of a fraudulent Detroit-area medical clinic, and Leoncio Alayon, who helped launder the proceeds of the fraud, for their roles in a $9.1 million Medicare fraud scheme, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services announced jointly.

Martin Tasis and Joaquin Tasis, two brothers, were each convicted on Friday of one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay healthcare kickbacks and three counts of healthcare fraud. Martin Tasis was also convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of money laundering. He was found not guilty on one money laundering count.

Alayon, a family friend, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of money laundering.

According to evidence presented during the one-week trial, Martin and Joaquin Tasis were owners of Dearborn Rehabilitation and Medical Center, a fraudulent HIV-infusion therapy outpatient clinic located in Dearborn, Mich. Evidence showed that DMRC was established for the sole purpose of defrauding Medicare.

Between November 2005 and March 2007, DMRC billed approximately $9.1 million in claims to Medicare for injection therapy services that were never provided and were not medically necessary. Evidence presented at the trial showed that Medicare beneficiaries were not referred to DMRC by their primary care physicians or for any legitimate medical purpose. Instead, they were recruited to the clinic through the payment of cash kickbacks.

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