A U.S. District Court Judge recently overturned a Miami jury’s verdict on a Medicare Fraud case from 2014. Tiffany Foster, 49, who was found guilty in May of 2014 and was awaiting sentencing, had her conviction reversed due to statute of limitation.
The honorable Cecilia Altonga, the judge that made the decision, referred to evidence presented in Foster’s trial proving that she had stopped participating in the fraud scheme over 5 years prior to the indictment against her and the other defendants.
Foster made $500,000 from fraudulent Medicare payments at the psychiatric hospital Hollywood Pavilion. Patients were admitted Medicare was billed for people that did not actually receive services or often even see doctors.
Judge Altonaga pointed out in her decision that Foster provided information to the FBI as far back as 2009, four years after she had left the facility and stopped participating in the fraud scheme. The FBI agent that testified at Foster’s trial claimed otherwise.
Foster’s defense attorneys point to the turn-around as a positive sign for people who have done wrong but moved on from their past. She was released from federal detention in downtown Miami on April 16.
Foster was one of four defendants charged in the scheme, along with lead defendant Barry Kaplowitz, 54, Melvin Hunter, 63, Christopher Gabel, 62. Kaplowitz and Gabel were both convicted, Hunter was acquitted. In 2013, Hollywood Pavilion CEO Karen Kallen-Zury was convicted with three others of collecting $67 million in false Medicare claims. She is serving 25 years.
Post-verdict requests for acquittals are rare, but a dedicated criminal defense lawyer will pursue all avenues for you, even after a trial has concluded.
Miami Judge Tosses Medicare Fraud Conviction, Frees Woman, Citing Statute of Limitation, Jay Weaver, 17 April 2015