MIAMI – A Florida doctor has been ordered to serve four years in prison and pay $2.1 million in restitution for his part in a multimillion-dollar health care fraud and money laundering scheme.
Joaquin Mendez previously had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health fraud. Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Benjamin G. Greenberg announced the latest plea on Thursday.
Prosecutors say three co-defendants in the case established sober homes, where people go for addiction treatment, and provided kickbacks and bribes to people with insurance who agreed to live in the homes. Their insurance was billed and members of the scheme prospered.
Records show the 52-year-old Mendez was hired to evaluate patients and prescribe treatment. Prosecutors say Mendez knew fraudulent insurance claims were being filed.