Nathan LaParl, 34, of Boca Raton, Fla., recently pleaded guilty to one count of receiving kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program and one count of violating the HIPAA statute. LaParl was involved in a durable medical equipment (DME) fraud scheme that stole millions of dollars from Medicare.
Both LaParl and co-defendant Talia Alexandre were employed by foreign call centers. Their jobs were to contact Medicare patients to ask if they were interested in low cost DME. This included inexpensive arm, back, knee and shoulder braces. (Always be suspicious of a call center trying to sell you something in exchange for your Medicare beneficiary number.)
The devious duo was able to check the eligibility of Medicare patients through a patient eligibility tool. LaParl was granted access to this tool by co-defendant Stefanie Hirsch, who owned a wheelchair and scooter repair company. (She was a bonafide Medicare provider.)
Hirsch had access to a healthcare database through her company, El Medical, Inc., that contained Medicare patients’ personal, medical and insurance information. She granted LaParl access to the database, which he used to obtain the personal information of over 350,000 Medicare patients. (Hirsch only charged him a quarter for every patient eligibility check. What a steal, literally.)
LaParl and Alexandre proceeded to sell the personal information of Medicare patients to Juan Camilo Perez Buitrago. Together, LaParl and Alexandre received more than $1.6 million from Perez as payment for the patient data. (Looks like he put a price tag on selling his soul.)
Buitrago used the patient data LaParl and Alexandre sold to him to submit more than $109 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. He submitted claims for DME that were either not prescribed, not necessary, never requested, or never received.
LaParl will be sentenced for his role in the Medicare fraud scheme in Florida on May 20, 2021.
Buitrago previously pleaded guilty to health care fraud and paying kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program in October 2020. Alexandre and Hirsch are scheduled to plead guilty on Feb. 24, 2021. (It looks like everyone involved in this scheme is eligible for jail.)
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Florida Man Pleads Guilty in Multi-Million Dollar Medicare Fraud Scheme,” dated January 21, 2021.
BOSTON – A Florida man pleaded guilty today to his role in a multi-million dollar Medicare fraud scheme involving durable medical equipment.
Nathan LaParl, 34, of Boca Raton, Fla., pleaded guilty to one count of receiving kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program and one count of violating the HIPAA statute. U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. scheduled sentencing for May 20, 2021.