The owner of a Miami home health care company was sentenced to 75 months behind bars for her role in a Medicare fraud scheme worth over $6.5 million. The Justice Department announced the sentencing of 64-year-old Cruz Sonia Collado in a press release issued Monday. In addition to prison time, Collado will serve three years of supervised release and pay $6,536,657 in restitution.
Collado owned and operated the now-defunct Nestor’s Health Services Inc., which purportedly provided home health care and physical therapy services to patients receiving Medicare benefits. According to the DOJ, Collado doled out kickbacks to patient recruiters in exchange for the recruiters referring patients to Nestor’s Health Services. Patients that were supposed to be receiving home health care or physical therapy services were either never provided the services or the services were considered medically unnecessary, according to court documents.
This didn’t stop Collado from billing Medicare for the illegitimate services. Between 2009 and 2014, Nestor’s Health Services submitted over $6.5 million in Medicare reimbursement claims. Medicare paid out $6.1 million of that total.
Collado pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to offer and pay health care kickbacks and one count of offering and paying health care kickbacks.