|Charges||Health care fraud and false statements|
|Date of Birth||March 9, 1966 (55 years old)|
On February 7, 2007, Betros Garabet was indicted on charges of health care fraud and false statements. Investigators believe that Garabet orchestrated a scheme to bill Medicare $260,842 for medically unnecessary treatments and services.
According to the indictment, Garabet, who was not a licensed physician, opened several medical clinics in the Los Angeles area. Esther Foliente, a licensed physician, permitted Garabet to use her medical license to operate one of the medical clinics and bill Medicare for services rendered at that clinic.
Garabet hired co-conspirators, known as "cappers" or "marketers," to recruit patients with Medicare coverage. Co-conspirators Terry Hill and Natasha Walker paid patients kickbacks in the form of cash in exchange for receiving medically unnecessary treatments and services at the clinics, which could then be billed to Medicare.
Garabet posed as a physician and purportedly examined the Medicare beneficiaries. He then billed Medicare as if Foliente provided the patients with medically necessary services, when in fact the medical services were not provided by Foliente and either were not medically necessary or not provided at all. In exchange for using her information to bill Medicare, Foliente received a portion of the payments from Medicare.
Foliente pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents and was sentenced to 3 years home detention and ordered to pay over $146,000 in restitution. Both Walker and Hill pleaded guilty to health care fraud. Walker was sentenced to 2 years' probation and ordered to pay $5,571 in restitution, joint and several. Hill was sentenced to 1 year plus 1 week in prison. He was also ordered to pay $1,358,436 in restitution.
Investigators believe that Garabet fled the United States. He remains a fugitive at-large.
- Health Care Fraud