Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sarah Da Silva Keller Pleads Guilty to Participating in $63 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme


WASHINGTON—A Miami-area resident pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Miami for her role in a health care fraud scheme that resulted in the submission of more than $63 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Sarah Da Silva Keller, 27, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke in Miami to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Keller admitted to participating in a fraud scheme that was orchestrated by the owner and operators of Health Care Solutions Network (HCSN), which operated purported partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), a form of intensive mental health treatment for severe mental illness.

According to an indictment unsealed on May 2, 2012, HCSN paid kickbacks to owners and operators of assisted living facilities in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries to HCSN for PHP treatment that was unnecessary and, in many instances, not provided. According to court documents, Keller admitted that she falsified records at the direction of others so that HCSN could bill Medicare for patients who did not receive the services from HCSN. Keller knew that the falsification of these records was part of a plan for HCSN to commit health care fraud.

At sentencing, scheduled for Oct. 17, 2012, Keller faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

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