Saturday, March 17, 2012

Karina Hernandez, Marieva Briceno and Henry Briceno Plead Guilty for Their Roles in $5.4 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme


WASHINGTON—Three Detroit-area clinic owners pleaded guilty today for their participation in a Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Karina Hernandez, 28; Marieva Briceno, 46; and Henry Briceno, 58, all of Miami, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow in the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. At sentencing, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to the plea documents, Hernandez managed the daily operations of three Livonia, Michigan clinics: Blessed Medical Clinic, Alpha & Omega Medical Clinic, and Manuel Medical Clinic. Marieva Briceno contributed capital to fund the opening of one clinic, and assisted her daughter, Hernandez, in the daily management of the clinics. At each clinic, Hernandez and Marieva Briceno hired recruiters who paid cash bribes to Medicare beneficiaries to attend the clinics and provide their Medicare numbers and other information. Hernandez and Marieva Briceno admitted that they used the beneficiary information to bill for medically unnecessary diagnostic tests and treatments. Henry Briceno admitted that he incorporated Manuel Medical Clinic and opened a bank account to conceal the actual ownership of the clinic. According to court documents, Blessed Medical Clinic, Alpha & Omega Medical Clinic, and Manuel Medical Clinic fraudulently billed Medicare for $5.4 million during the course of the scheme.

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