Hospice Administrator Sentenced For Illegal Kickbacks To Patient Recruiters

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Jesse Stiller Contributor
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A hospice administrator was sentenced to prison for his role in a fraud scheme that netted millions of dollars in false Medicare claims.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in a statement on Friday that 80-year-old Antonio Olivera of Norwalk, California, had been sentenced to 30 months in prison for his role in a fraud scheme that included illegally paying kickbacks to patient recruiters.

Olivera admitted that while serving as an administrator for Mhiramarc Management between 2011 and 2018, he had paid off recruiters to refer hospice beneficiaries to Mhiramarc, the DOJ stated. He also overruled determinations from staff who suggested some referrals did not qualify for benefits or did not need hospice service.

Olivera also caused Mhiramarc to submit $28 million in claims to Medicare, the DOJ stated, which resulted in $17 million in payments. The former administrator was allegedly responsible for nearly $5 million of the false claims himself. (RELATED: Canadian-American Pleads Guilty To Laundering Money For North Korea, 3 Additional Hackers Indicted For Cyber Attacks)

Mhiramarc was paid nearly $3 million through Medicare for the false claims, the DOJ stated, which led to “medically unnecessary hospice services for beneficiaries.” Most of the recipients of hospice services were recruited through illegal kickbacks.

Olivera pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, the DOJ stated. Olivera was also ordered to pay over $2 million in restitution for the scheme.

Three other co-conspirators have been arrested and are currently awaiting sentencing for their role in the scheme, the DOJ stated.