Mental health clinics targeted in Medicare fraud crackdown

The Miami Herald, October 22, 2010

Since 2003, Medicare paid the chain a total of $84 million -- taxpayer money that authorities say was mostly blown on luxury items, including Duran's 2009 Maserati Quattroporte and Valera's bayfront condo at the Opera Towers. Duran and Valera also spent the money on trips to Switzerland, Dominican Republic and Cuba.

The feds obtained court orders to freeze the employees' personal and corporate bank accounts in an attempt to salvage possibly a few million dollars of the Medicare payments.

The indictment charged American Therapeutic, a seven-clinic chain, and its subsidiary, Medlink Professional Management Group, Inc., and the four employees with conspiring to defraud Medicare for group therapy sessions that were either unnecessary or not provided to patients.

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