Miami pharmacist admits role in $1.6 million Medicare scheme

August 24, 2015

A Miami pharmacist recently pled guilty to charges she stole the identifying information of Medicare beneficiaries and then submitted fraudulent claims on their behalf.

A Miami pharmacist recently pled guilty to charges she stole the identifying information of Medicare beneficiaries and then submitted fraudulent claims on their behalf.

Tamara Esponda, 47, of Miami, who owned Biomax Pharmacy Inc., pled guilty to one count of healthcare fraud in federal court in Miami and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 13, 2015.

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According to federal prosecutors, between October 2012 and September 2013, Esponda submitted nearly $1.6 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare for prescription drugs that were “not prescribed by physicians, not medically necessary, not purchased by Biomax Pharmacy, and not provided to Medicare beneficiaries.” 

Esponda admitted that she and others either stole or bought identifying information of Medicare beneficiaries. That information was then used to submit the fraudulent claims.

Esponda also admitted that she transferred the Medicare payments from Biomax’s accounts to herself and others.

 

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge Shimon R. Richmond of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

“Ms. Esponda has accepted responsibility in a healthcare fraud where she was a nominee owner. She is set for sentencing and I am confident [the judge] will treat her fairly considering her role,” said Arnold Trevilla, Esponda's attorney, toldSouth Florida Business Journal.

Back in June, Esponda and 242 others nationwide were charged in what federal prosecutors described as the largest Medicare fraud crackdown in history.