By Kevin Deutsch
Two Parkland residents and a Coral Springs man have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud, court records show.
Jestil Tapia, 28, of Parkland, and Luis Mitchell Perez, 35, of Coral Springs, were charged by indictment in July with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive health care kickbacks and payment of kickbacks involving the federal health care program.
According to federal court records, Perez was also charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, and misusing COVID-19 relief funds to pay an approximately $85,000 payment to a luxury car dealership.
From January 2019 through August 2020, Perez and Tapia owned and operated a network of medical equipment and marketing companies they used to submit over $18 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, of which over $8 million was paid out by the program, prosecutors said.
The court records allege that Perez and Tapia submitted false enrollment and ownership records, paid kickbacks to purported telemedicine and marketing companies, and profited millions from the scheme.
Also arrested in July was Joseph Dauch, 47, of Parkland, who was charged by information in connection with an approximately $21 million health care fraud scheme, separate from the scheme carried out by Perez and Tapia, records show.
Beginning in October 2018, Dauch owned and operated three marketing companies through which Dauch and multiple co-conspirators targeted Medicare beneficiaries for genetic testing, according to federal prosecutors.
Dauch paid bribes and kickbacks to purported telemedicine companies to obtain signed doctors’ orders prescribing tests, then sold the patient referrals to laboratories in exchange for kickbacks, court records allege.
The laboratories fraudulently billed Medicare for genetic testing that patients did not need and was not used to treat the patients, prosecutors said.
- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.