Alejandra Collaza will serve 17 years for Medicare scam that cost taxpayers $8.5 million dollars. Collazo’s Hialeah clinic did a booming business. Masquerading as a doctor, Collazo wrote 2,200 false prescriptions for referrals to home-healthcare agencies.
Collazo opened the clinic in 2011 with convicted cocaine dealer Ricardo Corria. Corria was listed as president, Collaza as Vice President. Both sought out patients to write referrals. The referral earned the clinic $100 each, and then Collaza billed millions in false Medicare charges. South Florida has been inundated with Medicare billing fraud specific to the home health care industry.
The 43-year old Collaza pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud and stealing a doctor’s identity. She hired the doctor in question, Gonzalo Gonzalez, to replace herself as the clinic’s medical director. Gonzalez soon realized that the clinic was a front for the Medicare scam. His tip to federal authorities began the investigation. All the while, Collaza using his name to write more fraudulent prescriptions.
Corria, Collazo’s partner was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Corria asserts that he thought his business partner was a doctor, though he knew he was aware that he was perpetuating fraudulent practices. The U.S. Attorney’s office was planning on recommending a reduction in sentence for his cooperation.
Medicare fraud is a serious offense which frequently involves a complicated chain of events and actions which can often deceive medical professionals and investors as well as patients and government agents. A criminal defense attorney well versed in the nuances of this complex aspect of our health care system can serve as an advocate for any defendant involved in one of these issues.
Source: Miamiherald.com, “Catch-me-if-you-can’ fake doctor imprisoned 17 years for Medicare fraud in Miami,” Weaver, Jay, 5 February 2015