A Miami man was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Nashville to 67 months in prison, three years supervised release and ordered to pay $19,000 for a medical identity theft scheme that took place in Gainesboro, Tenn. from June 2010 to August 2010.
Yennier Capote Gonzalez, 33, was convicted of health care fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. He billed $232,000 to Medicare Advantage Program insurance companies from his medical provider business, Gainesboro Ultimate Med Service.
However, officials learned during investigation that the business’s address was an old barn and an uncompleted house.
According to a U.S. Justice Department news release, the investigation began in August 2010 after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was notified that an individual in Miami, Fla. had attempted to wire $17,000 from a new Tennessee account that had recently received a $38,000 Medicare deposit.
Gonzalez had stolen a Knoxville, Tenn. physician’s identity to obtain a Medicare provider number. He also used several Medicare beneficiaries who lived in South Florida to submit claims.
Gonzalez was arrested in late August 2010 at a bank in Miami during another wire transfer attempt.
“Health care fraud and identity theft are top priorities of the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said U.S. Attorney Jerry E. Martin in the news release. “We continue to expand our focus and dedicate new resources to investigating and prosecuting this type of white collar criminal activity and will stay the course to insure that those who operate fraudulent schemes such as this are held accountable.”
“Medical identity theft is one of the fastest growing areas of health care fraud,” Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services- Office of Inspector General in Atlanta said in the news release. “In this case, the defendant was arrested less than 48 hours after our office received the complaint. The sentence handed down today should serve as a deterrent to anyone who tries to defraud the Medicare program.”
Amanda Gambill is with the Seigenthaler News Service — MTSU. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.