Rita Campos Ramirez, a 60-year-old Miami resident, received a 10-year prison sentence for her role in a multimillion-dollar Medicare fraud scheme. The $170 million scheme is the program's largest individual case of fraud ever. The sentence was announced Wednesday.
As part of her punishment, Ramirez will also have to hand over her three homes and a car. Plus, she was ordered to pay $105 million in restitution to the federal government.
"The sentence in this case dispels the myth that white-collar-crime defendants get off lightly," FBI Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Solomon said in a press release. "It reinforces the message that healthcare fraud—stealing from U.S. taxpayers—is a serious crime."
Details of the crime:
Campos pleaded guilty on Aug. 28, 2007, to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of submitting false claims to Medicare. As part of her plea, Campos admitted that between October 2002 and April 2006 she owned and operated R&I Medical Billing Inc., a medical billing company that specialized in submitting bills to the Medicare program on behalf of HIV infusion clinics. Campos admitted that she knowingly submitted approximately $170 million in fraudulent medical bills to Medicare on behalf of 75 HIV infusion clinics in Miami-Dade County that were part of the scheme. Infusion clinics serve HIV patients by providing prescribed medications intravenously.
The Medicare program paid approximately $105 million of the $170 million in fraudulent bills submitted by Campos, with Campos personally receiving $5 million for her role in the fraud.
Full press release is here.