LOUISVILLE, KY – A federal court in Kentucky has sentenced the co-founder of several phony medical clinics in Louisville and Atlanta, who pleaded guilty to one felony count, after the U.S. Department of Labor found the operators collected $258,000 from 15 self-funded healthcare benefit programs for services they never provided.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky ordered that Yesdel Acosta Perez – co-founder of Romero Rehabilitation Physical Therapy Inc. and Empire USA Inc. in Louisville as well as Imaging Group Center Inc. in Atlanta – to time served of 14 months in prison and pay $258,507 in restitution.
In February 2023, Acosta Perez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.
The prosecution follows an investigation by the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration that found that, between May 2015 and January 2016, Acosta Perez and Eduardo Chinea-Martinez co-founded three companies to intentionally defraud various healthcare benefit programs. Investigators also determined Acosta Perez opened bank accounts for the fictitious businesses at JPMorgan Chase Bank, Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America. Before his indictment in June 2018, Acosta Perez fled the U.S. On July 22, 2022, the Italian government granted the request of the U.S. for the extradition of Acosta Perez and surrendered him to U.S. authorities.
Acosta Perez aided Chinea-Martinez and others in billing various healthcare benefit programs through claims administrators Humana, CIGNA and United Healthcare for $4.7 million for services never provided. They received more than $258,000. In March 2020, the court sentenced Chinea-Martinez to 42 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his part in the scheme.
“Healthcare fraud creates great public mistrust, hurts participants who depend on their essential benefits and the employers who provide their coverage, and increases healthcare costs for all of us,” explained Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Joe Rivers in Cincinnati. “A federal court has sentenced Yesdel Acosta Perez for intentionally defrauding healthcare benefit programs for personal gain.”
Employers and workers can reach EBSA toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa.