New Americans Sent to Slammer over Massive Health Care Fraud Scheme

“[A]fter arriving in the United States from Cuba on a raft seeking refuge and a better life…they proceeded to build a vast empire of fraud.”

I could not find a photo of the Cuban crooks.

 

Here is the news directly from the US Justice Department, and I must say this is one of the better press releases I’ve seen from the feds especially for its mention of the fact that the Cuban crooks were refugees who then took advantage of us. (Immigration history is rarely mentioned.)

(Thanks to one of my many readers who share tips with me.)

We gave them an opportunity for a good life, they ripped us off and now we must pay for their incarceration!

Husband and Wife Sentenced to Prison for Roles in $38 Million Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud Scheme

Rodolfo Pichardo, 71, of Hialeah, Florida was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for masterminding a $38 million health care fraud and wire fraud scheme. His wife Marta Pichardo, 66, was sentenced to 8 years in prison for her role in the scheme.

[….]

Rodolfo Pichardo and Marta Pichardo previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud. On December 4, 2019, Rodolfo Pichardo, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rodolfo A. Ruiz to 188 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $33,841,576 in restitution. Today, Marta Pichardo was sentenced by Judge Ruiz to 96 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. She was ordered to pay $10,482,178 in restitution.

According to court documents, after arriving in the United States from Cuba on a raft seeking refuge and a better life, the Rodolfo Pichardo and his wife Marta Pichardo settled in Miami-Dade County, Florida where they proceeded to build a vast empire of fraud, consisting of at least six fraudulent home health agencies, three fraudulent therapy staffing companies, and two fraudulent pharmacies. Each of these entities purportedly provided home health services, therapy services, and prescription drugs, respectively, to qualified Medicare beneficiaries, though in fact and as both Rodolfo and Marta Pichardo knew, they did not.

From May 2010 through September 2016, the Pichardos and their co-conspirators used this empire to submit more than $38 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, for which the trust-based program then paid out more than $33 million.

Fueled their lavish lifestyle with your money!

The Pichardos then used this money to purchase multiple properties, high-end vehicles, expensive jewelry, plane tickets, vacations, cosmetic procedures, and more, both for themselves and their family members.

As part of the scheme, Rodolfo Pichardo offered and paid kickbacks, both by cash and by check, to numerous patient recruiters, in exchange for the referral of Medicare beneficiaries to home health agencies that he owned. The conspirators also offered and paid cash kickbacks to owners and operators of multiple Miami-Dade medical clinics, in return for acquiring medically unnecessary home health prescriptions for the recruited Medicare beneficiaries. These prescriptions were then used by the Pichardos’ various home health agencies and pharmacies to bill Medicare for purported services and pharmaceutical drugs that were provided to allegedly qualified Medicare beneficiaries

During the long-running scheme, the Pichardos took several calculated steps to conceal the fraud and avoid detection, including using nominee owners, changing names and locations of their fraudulent entities, and creating shell companies to conceal the receipt of the fraud proceeds, hide assets and transactions, and divert proceeds for both personal use and to further the fraud.

There is a bit more here.

So much for Michael Bloomberg’s New American Economy built on immigrant entrepreneurs.

As I have said before, the President should work some of the fantastic fraud busts his Justice Department is exposing into each rally he attends.  He could direct his staff to find one or two relevant to whatever state he is visiting.

I think Florida fraudsters might outnumber Michigan schemers here at ‘Frauds and Crooks’, but I’ll check my archives tomorrow on this blogs first anniversary!

Don’t forget to check in at Refugee Resettlement Watch which has been taking most of my attention in recent weeks!

Happy New Year!

Diversity is Beautiful Alert! Man from Micronesia Grabs Girl at Her Florida Home

Lucky for the 11-year-old, her Dad was home and quickly chased the intruder away from their patio door.

Steven M. Hasugulgum, 21, was arrested a short time later.

Steven M. Hasugulgum, 21, a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Of course the big question for me and others of my readers is what the heck was a creepy man from Micronesia doing wandering around Daytona Beach?

We don’t take refugees from Micronesia, well except for those rejected asylum seekers who had been placed in detention by Australia on the island of Nauru.  Surely he couldn’t have been one of those we foolishly took to America as refugees when Australia didn’t want them. Could he?

We will likely never know unless some enterprising local reporter can pull his immigration status out of the local police.

There are many articles, mostly in Florida media, about the Christmas Eve attempted kidnapping.  Thanks to reader Janet for bringing it to my attention.

Here is Fox News:

Man chased from Florida home after grabbing girl, 11, in Christmas Eve break-in attempt

A man was arrested after forcing his way into a Florida home on Christmas Eve, nearly snatching an 11-year-old girl before he was chased off by her father, authorities said.

Steven M. Hasugulgum, 21, was standing outside an Ormond Beach-area home around 6 p.m. Tuesday when the girl opened a sliding door and walked outside, the Volusia Sheriff’s Office said. Hasugulgum advanced, putting his fingers to his lips and telling her to “shh” as he forced her back inside.

The family’s security camera caught the intrusion.

 

Hasugulgum followed her and grabbed her hand, trying to pull her toward him, but the girl’s father, Derek Kloepfer, was able to chase the intruder away, deputies said.

“If I would have grabbed him, I’m sure there would have been some consequences,” Kloepfer told FOX35 Orlando.

See the Fox35 video here.

The incident was caught on home surveillance video, and deputies immediately began tracking the suspect.

But just 40 minutes after fleeing, Hasugulgum tried to break into another home in the area, deputies said.

A woman told authorities he tried to turn the knob on her front door, which was locked. She said she opened the door and saw Hasugulgum “acting erratic and holding a hammer.” He then tried to break into her SUV but was scared off after the woman hit the vehicle’s panic alarm, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies eventually arrested the 21-year-old when he reappeared near the first house less than an hour later.

Hasugulgum lives in Daytona Beach, but is a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, a country comprising more than 600 islands in the western Pacific Ocean, the sheriff’s office said.

If any of you learn more about this man from Micronesia and how he came to be in America in the first place, please let me know!

Michigan: Afghanistan-born Surgeon Dubbed the “Greedy Butcher” to Spend Two Decades Behind Bars

A federal appeals court affirmed a lower court decision earlier this week that seeks to send a message to medical practitioners who are clearly seeking financial gain at the expense of their patients’ health.

The original court ruling against Dr.Aria Sabit was in 2017 (before I began writing ‘Frauds and Crooks‘ to highlight cases like this where ‘new Americans,’ supposedly here to follow the American dream ripped us off, or in some cases killed us). Hey, Michael Bloomberg, so much for immigrant entrepreneurs!

 

This is a screenshot. Visit the 2017 story here: https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/2017/01/06/sentence-for-accused-greedy-butcher-surgeon-truly-up-for-grabs/

 

From the Detroit Free Press:

A Birmingham neurosurgeon’s federal appeal failed, leaving him to serve nearly 20 years in prison because of his role in a $2.8 million insurance fraud scheme involving unnecessary spinal surgeries.

Aria Sabit also must deal with a lifetime of supervision and pay nearly $2 million in restitution because of the upheld sentence.

A three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the 2017 sentence on Monday. Dec. 16.

“After recounting the facts underlying Sabit’s conviction, the district court discussed the … factors and then handed down the sentence,” the opinion read. “That shows the district court took a holistic approach to justifying the sentence.

“And that holistic approach didn’t lack an adequate explanation: the district court spoke at length about Sabit’s ‘horrific criminal acts upon vulnerable and defenseless human beings’ and then explained why the sentence was necessary (1) to protect the public and (2) to deter other criminal conduct.”

The 11-page opinion concludes by saying the lower district court did not commit “reversible” error during Sabit’s criminal proceedings or when imposing his sentence.

“Thus, we affirm,” the opinion concluded.

Prior to his guilty plea and sentencing, Sabit owned and operated the Michigan Brain and Spine Physicians Group with several metro Detroit locations.

Sabit admitted to convincing more than a dozen patients to undergo spinal fusion surgeries that he never performed, causing serious bodily harm in some cases.

“He told patients they needed spinal surgery,” the just-released opinion detailed. “Sabit then operated on the patients and told them (falsely) that he had inserted the agreed-upon medical device.

“Sabit also falsified his operative reports to make the patients think he had put the spinal devices in place.”

Go here for more on the sickening case.

The message to you, dear readers, please, please carefully check out your doctors.  We have American bad docs, but honestly based on cases I’ve been reading about (so many in Michigan!) a lot of foreign-born docs are not here to help you get well.

Endnote: I encourage those of you interested in the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program to go over to Refugee Resettlement Watch every few days, because a lot is going on following the President’s reform initiative launched in September.

They Wanted Brazilian Butt Tucks, but Ended up Dead or Deformed

Editor:  As you know I have been deep in the weeds of the President’s offer to local elected officials and state governors to determine if they want to receive refugees later in 2020.   It is frankly a bureaucratic morass and I needed a break from it so I had a look at some ‘frauds and crooks’ news this morning.

Please visit Refugee Resettlement Watch because there are new posts there every day like this one: Appomattox County, Virginia says no thanks to refugees, likely first in the nation county to say NO!

 

For a change, this is really disturbing news for a whole host of reasons.

Before getting to the story that you may have seen because it was fairly widely reported, learn what a Brazilian butt lift entails. See here.

I sure hope our tax dollars in no way support this foolish (deadly!) medical procedure.

From the UK Daily Mail (where photos are always the best):

Botched cut-rate operations at plastic surgery clinics operated by FELONS in Florida cost 13 women their lives – but state law can do nothing to close down the lethal businesses

At least 13 women have died after undergoing plastic surgery at Florida clinics founded by felons, a new investigation reveals.

They came for discounted butt lifts and tummy tucks from surgeons in world-renowned South Beach, Florida.

But these women were left with complications that cost them their lives, after operations that were performed by surgeons hired by for felons, USA Today’s investigation revealed.

Dr Osakatukei Omulepu had failed his board exams multiple times, and had never been board certified in plastic surgery, says the Daily Mail.

It dug into the sordid histories of four clinics founded by people had been convicted of crimes – mostly financial ones – but were allowed to run cosmetic surgery shops that crowded patients in and cut corners to make more money more quickly.

The clinics, where women died of fat embolisms, deadly mixtures of sedatives and puncture wounds to organs, were cited for these deaths and for dirty operating rooms.

Yet they were never shut down. Blindspots in regulatory oversight and hamstrung lawmakers allowed these facilities to continue operating despite the littany of problems – in one case, even while the owner was waiting for his prison sentence to start.

[….]

Juan Hernandes was convicted in a $1.2 million Medicare billing fraud case while running Spectrum Aesthetics

Juan Hernandes co-founded Spectrum Aesthetics in 2012. He and his business partner, Evelyn Parrado were charged with fraudulently billing $1.2 million to Medicare for drugs from the pharmacy they ran together.

Under the impression that Spectrum was staffed and run by board certified surgeons, the court allowed Hernandes to continue to operate the clinic.

He employed and oversaw the physicians there, including Dr Osakatukei Omulepu, who had failed his board exams multiple times, and never been board certified in plastic surgery.

Yet the unqualified surgeon performed Brazilian butt lifts, the most dangerous cosmetic operation.

During two such operations, he punctured or stabbed organs including the liver and small intestine.

A surgical sponge was left inside Porche Campbell, 40, when she had a procedure there.

Nicola Mason, 46, came to Spectrum from Maryland for a Brazilian butt lift.

But, a complaint she filed against Dr Omulepu claims he performed a tummy tuck – the wrong surgery – on her, instead.

And the unwanted tummy tuck she got left Mason with large scars on the side of her abdomen.

Dr Omulepu’s records claim that he determined that Mason wasn’t a good candidate for butt lift, according to USA TODAY, and that the two instead agreed upon her tummy tuck.

Last year, Adianet Galvan visited New Life Plastic Surgery for the same risky procedure: a Brazilian butt lift.

She suffered the same fate countless others have under the knife. Galvan died of a fat embolism, according to USA Today’s analysis of her autopsy records.

‘I never thought my daughter would come to this country and die at the age of 30,’ her mother, Arelys Gonzalez told USA Today.  [Were these women in the country legally?—ed]

Continue reading here.

You will notice that most of those involved with the fraudulent surgical centers appear to be ‘new Americans.’

Nicaragua Punishes New York State Murderer in Long Distance Trial

Orlando Tercero was found guilty in a Nicaraguan court on November first in the strangulation murder of fellow nursing student Haley Anderson.

Haley Anderson is dead.

The case is unusual because after the man with duel citizenship escaped to his home country and was captured, the legal system in Nicaragua went to work, and to the great relief of New York state prosecutors and the woman’s family, justice is being served.

Before I get to the case, let me say that news like this, although very sad and disturbing must be widely distributed to help young women in the age of political correctness to better identify the predatory behavior of romantic interests who may seem more charming than the local American boys they grew up with.

Fear of sounding like racists or xenophobes is silencing a whole lot of us!

I immediately thought of that poor college student murdered in Utah earlier this year by the evil creep from Nigeria, here.  And, although Jennifer Schlecht was older than Ms. Anderson when she was beheaded by her Ethiopian husband, I suspect his foreign charm attracted her in the first place.

Here is the story from Binghamton, NY (h/t: Michael):

Haley Anderson’s killer gets 30 years in Nicaraguan prison: ‘Justice has been served’

Haley Anderson voluntarily visited Orlando Tercero’s apartment on Binghamton’s West Side early March 8, 2018 after parting ways with her friends. Fueled by jealousy and a sense of rejection, he strangled her.

Tercero was sentenced to 30 years in a Nicaraguan prison.

Tercero, now 23, and 22-year-old Anderson were both enrolled in Binghamton University’s nursing program. They dated casually for almost a year, but she didn’t share his desire for a more serious relationship, and reconnected with an ex-boyfriend.

On Friday, a Nicaraguan judge sentenced Tercero to 30 years in prison, the maximum penalty under that country’s law for femicide, in Anderson’s death.

The Nicaraguan judge told the courtroom all women have the right to life, and in a stinging speech before delivering the sentence, she said evidence had proven Tercero took it upon himself to “punish” Anderson simply for rejecting him.

America’s legal system doesn’t have a criminal charge quite like Nicaragua’s femicide, Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell said Friday, but the protection it afforded Haley Anderson in this case was important.

“Orlando Tercero, in a cold-blooded manner, choked the life out of a young woman who we believe was probably sleeping and had been drinking,” Cornwell said after the sentencing. “It doesn’t get any more sick and depraved than that … preying on somebody who’s helpless, and completely overpowered them, with no chance at all.”

Tercero said nothing during the sentencing, which was wholly spoken in Spanish. An interpreter kept Anderson’s parents and reporters updated through a video linkup at the Broome County District Attorney’s Office.

Please read the whole story, it is worth reading!

And, again don’t let our PC culture silence you!  Don’t hesitate to speak up when a friend or family member seems to have impaired judgement, or when warning signs are evident (even if you risk losing that person from your life!).

 

Editor:  Sorry I am behind in posting here at ‘Frauds and Crooks,‘ but the Refugee Industry has gone into full mobilization against the President as they prepare for the day they hope is coming soon when they regain the White House and can open the refugee spigot wide, and so I’ve been posting extensively at Refugee Resettlement Watch in recent days.