|Charges||Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone and conspiracy to commit health care fraud|
|Amount of Arrears||$5,400,000|
On September 21, 2012, Eliezer Salgado was sentenced to 6 years in prison and ordered to pay $5.4 million in restitution, joint and several, after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
Eliezer Salgado, who is originally from Cuba, turned himself into U. S . Customs and Border Patrol at the Brownsville, Texas, port of entry on April 14, 2012.
In December 2011, Eliezer Salgado was indicted on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Investigators believe that Salgado was part of a large health care fraud scheme that netted more than $90 million in false payments from Medicare and Medicaid.
According to the indictment, Salgado's co-conspirators headed a drug trafficking organization, and operated pain clinics in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in South Florida. These pain clinics employed physicians who fraudulently prescribed oxycodone and oxymorphone for co-conspirator beneficiaries of Medicare and other prescription drug insurance plans. The beneficiaries then presented the fraudulent prescriptions to complicit pharmacies operated by co-conspirators. Once the prescriptions were filled, Medicare and other insurers were billed for the cost of the prescriptions. Pharmacy owners allegedly knew that the drugs were medically unnecessary and that they were then being re-sold by the beneficiaries to the drug trafficking organization. Investigators believe that these pharmacy owners also sold these drugs on the street for profit, often shipping the drugs out of State.
Salgado and several other co-conspirators allegedly facilitated the drug trafficking and health care fraud by (1) recruiting and paying the corrupt health insurance beneficiaries to visit the pain clinics, (2) possessing and delivering the prescription drugs, and (3) acting as money couriers.
As of April 2012, 22 defendants, including the owners of the pain clinics and pharmacies, have pleaded guilty to health care fraud-related charges and are awaiting sentencing in June and July 2012.
- Health Care Fraud