Leader of $23M Medicare fraud scheme gets 10 years

SHARE Leader of $23M Medicare fraud scheme gets 10 years

The Chicago leader of a Medicare fraud scheme that swindled the government out of $23 million has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Jacinto “John” Gabriel, 48, was one of 12 people charged in the scheme, which used fraudulently obtained information to sign up hundreds of Medicare beneficiaries as patients of his two companies, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum that “Gabriel used elderly patients as commodities to bill Medicare. Patients were intentionally misdiagnosed with medical conditions that they did not have, and then used to bill Medicare for treatment that they did not need.”

Gabriel pleaded guilty in the case, admitting he directed his staff to alter and create patient records and doctor’s orders to support the fraudulent claims, among other things.

The Chicago resident controlled Perpetual Home Health Inc., and Legacy Home Healthcare Services, federal authorities said.

U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle handed down the 10-year sentence Tuesday and also ordered Gabriel to pay $23.3 million in restitution to Medicare and $1.5 million to the IRS.

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