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Monday, 26 February 2018 23:54

Owners of MI Rehab Clinic Accused in $1 Million Staged-Crash Scheme

Written by John Agar, MLive.com
The government says the owners of a Grand Rapids rehabilitation center took part in a staged-crash scheme to fraudulently bill insurers for medical service. The government says the owners of a Grand Rapids rehabilitation center took part in a staged-crash scheme to fraudulently bill insurers for medical service.

The owners of a physical rehabilitation clinic in Grand Rapids, MI, have been accused in a $1 million scheme to defraud insurance companies by staging crashes and fraudulently submitting bills for physical therapy services.

Eight others have already been convicted for staging crashes in the area.

 

Maria Del Carmen Ramirez-Rodriguez, a.k.a. Maria Del Carmen Pou, and Marvin David Ramirez are named in a 14-count indictment alleging conspiracy to commit mail fraud against no-fault auto insurance companies, healthcare fraud and mail fraud.

 

The indictment was recently unsealed after Ramirez's arrest.

 

He was arraigned Thursday, Feb. 1, in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bond.

 

No date has been set for the co-defendant.

 

The alleged fraud began in December 2011 and ended May 2014, the government said.

 

The defendants owned and operated Primary Rehab Center LLC, at 2055 28th Street SE in Grand Rapids. They used "patient recruiters" to find people “willing to participate in staged automobile accidents--- accidents that were planned out before they occurred," Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Stella wrote in the indictment.

 

"Defendants also asked the patient recruiters to find individuals who had experienced their own automobile accidents, but were not truly in need of any medical treatment."

 

Those recruited were usually paid $500 to $1,000 to falsely claim injuries from crashes and become patients of the rehabilitation center, the government said. The defendants "coached the patients on what symptoms to report” to doctors to obtain a prescription for physical therapy, the indictment said.

 

The defendants submitted over $1 million in fraudulent healthcare claims, the government said. The government is seeking a judgment for return of those funds.

 

The defendants face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of any of the five mail-fraud charges, and up to five years on the nine healthcare-fraud charges, court records said.

 

A worker at the rehab center, Yoisler Herrera-Enriquez of Wyoming, was earlier sentenced to four years, nine months, in prison.

 

He was linked to others who have already been sentenced to prison: Belkis Soca-Fernandez of Tampa, FL, 11 years, three months; David Sosa-Baladron of Tampa, FL, 10 years; Antonio Ramon Martinez-Lopez of Port Richey, FL, seven years, three months; Gustavo Acuna-Rosa, formerly of Lansing, two years, two months; and Eduardo Pardo-Oiz, formerly of Lansing, two months.

 

They were ordered to pay restitution ranging from $145,000 to $895,000, records showed.

 

We thank MLive.com for reprint permission. 

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