R.Ph. Guilty of $10 million Medicare fraud

August 6, 2007

Prosecutors charged Valdes with conspiring with the owners of Med-Pro Billing and Unimed Pharmacy to refer patients to them in exchange for half of what Medicare paid for compounded aerosol medications.

A Miami jury found Nelson Valdes, R.Ph., guilty of committing $10 million in Medicare fraud. Valdes, owner of Florida Pharmacy and Discount and F & M Medical Rentals, was convicted on all counts, including conspiracy to submit false claims to Medicare, conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, and three counts of receiving kickbacks. In the trial, prosecutors charged Valdes with conspiring with the owners of Med-Pro Billing and Unimed Pharmacy to refer patients to them in exchange for half of what Medicare paid for compounded aerosol medications. After the FBI shut down Unimed in 2003, Valdes obtained his own pharmacy license and compounded the medications himself. One Medicare beneficiary testified that Valdes paid him $150 per month to use his Medicare card. Valdes is scheduled to be sentenced in September and faces up to 30 years in prison.