Sentencing follows investigation into $18 million Medicare fraud scheme

Detroit clinic owner worked with therapists to implement fraudulent billing scheme for physical therapy services


On March 11, 2010, a federal jury convicted Dr. Jose Castro-Ramirez of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and money laundering for his role in the conspiracy. At sentencing, scheduled for June 29, 2010, Castro-Ramirez faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the health care fraud conspiracy and substantive health care fraud counts He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the money laundering conspiracy count.

Today’s result was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade; Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney John K. Neal and Trial Attorney Gejaa T. Gobena and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Beimers from the Eastern District of Michigan. The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Since their inception in March 2007, Strike Force operations in seven districts have obtained indictments of more than 500 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for approximately $1.1 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov