Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Martin Tasis Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Role in $9.1 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme


WASHINGTON – Martin Tasis was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for his leading role in a $9.1 million Detroit-area Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Tasis was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow in the Eastern District of Michigan.  In addition to his prison term, Tasis was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $6 million in restitution, jointly and severally with his co-conspirators.

Martin Tasis and co-defendants Joaquin Tasis and Leoncio Alayon were convicted by a jury in May 2011 after a five-day trial. Evidence presented at trial showed that the Tasis brothers and their co-conspirators helped relocate a highly lucrative infusion therapy fraud scheme to Michigan from South Florida after increased law enforcement scrutiny there.

According to evidence presented at trial, Martin and Joaquin Tasis were the owners of a Detroit-area clinic called Dearborn Medical Rehabilitation Center (DMRC). Evidence at trial showed that Medicare beneficiaries were not referred to DMRC by their primary care physicians, or for any other legitimate medical purpose, but rather were recruited to come to the clinic through the payment of cash kickbacks. DMRC then billed Medicare for expensive and exotic medications, purportedly administered to treat HIV and Hepatitis-C. However, the medications were never administered.

Once Medicare started paying the co-conspirators, Martin Tasis enlisted Alayon, a family friend, to help him launder the proceeds of the fraud through a shell corporation in Florida called Infinity Research Corp. Evidence at trial showed that Infinity Research Corp. had no employees, did no research and was based at Alayon’s residence. Alayon, after taking a commission for himself, distributed the laundered proceeds to Martin and Joaquin Tasis and their co-conspirators.

Between November 2005 and March 2007, DMRC billed approximately $9.1 million in claims to Medicare for injection therapy services that were never provided and/or were not medically necessary. Medicare paid approximately $6 million of those claims. Evidence at trial showed that DMRC purchased only $36,000 in medication and medical supplies.
Martin Tasis was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks, three counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of money laundering.

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