South Florida Physician Sentenced To Nine Years In Medicare Fraud Conspiracy

Posted On Thursday, April 21, 2016

Miami-area physician Henry Lora was sentenced to 108 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay more than $30 million in restitution pursuant to his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349; and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, receive health care kickbacks, and make false statements regarding health care, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.

According to the factual basis, which was signed by all parties and filed with the court in support of Lora’s guilty plea, Lora was a physician at, and for a time the medical director of, Merfi Corp, a now-defunct clinic that employed physicians, physician assistants, and other medical professionals. In exchange for bribes and kickbacks, Lora and his co-conspirators wrote prescriptions for home health care services, pharmaceuticals, and laboratory and diagnostic tests that were medically unnecessary. Lora and his co-conspirators also falsified patient records to make it appear as if Medicare beneficiaries qualified for these services, and caused the submission of claims for the unnecessary services to Medicare, which ultimately paid the claims.

One of Lora’s co-conspirators was Isabel Medina, who owned Merfi Corp.  She pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 108 months’ imprisonment in March 2014.  Other co-conspirators, who worked primarily as patient recruiters, received sentences ranging from 24 to 27 months’ imprisonment.