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Miami doctor gets stiff sentence for Medicare scam

Miami Herald, December 18, 2008

A Miami doctor has been sentenced to 30 years in prison—one of the stiffest penalties given for Medicare fraud—for her role in an HIV infusion fraud scheme. Prosecutors said Ana Alvarez-Jacinto worked at Saint Jude Rehab Center, Inc., a bogus HIV clinic that paid about $150 apiece in kickbacks to patients in exchange for their Medicaid numbers. Alvarez-Jacinto ordered hundreds of medically unnecessary and expensive HIV infusion treatments for patients at St. Jude, which then billed Medicare for approximately $11 million for those services during a five-month period in 2003. Medicare paid St. Jude more than $8 million, according to the Department of Justice.