A federal jury has convicted Jorge Perez, 62, and Ricardo Perez, 59, of a scheme to defraud rural Florida hospitals of $1.4 billion on multiple counts of conspiracy and health care fraud, the Department of Justice has announced. According to prosecutors, the two men, both of Miami, targeted small (25-40 bed facility) and financially vulnerable rural hospitals and promised to save and rebuild them.
Instead, the duo used the hospitals as “pass-through” vehicles for over a billion dollars in fraudulent laboratory test billing. Three of the four rural hospitals exploited by the two permanently closed shortly after. “These defendants preyed on and exploited the vulnerable – vulnerable hospitals, vulnerable underserved communities, and vulnerable patients seeking treatment for addiction – to line their own pockets,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. in a Department of Justice release.