A Tampa woman is awaiting sentencing on a conviction of fraud and money-laundering charges relating to her alleged participation in a multi-million dollar Medicare fraud scheme.
Pilar Garcia Lorenzo was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering last Thursday. The thirty-eight year old was convicted due to her allegedly submitting $2.5 million of fraudulent claims to Medicare via her company Gold Care Home Health Services Inc., which maintained a storefront on Busch Boulevard.
According to federal officials, Garcia submitted expenses to Medicare for health care services that weren’t completed, weren’t medically necessary, or weren’t prescribed by physicians. Officials also claimed that she established a litany of shell companies to pass the funds through in an attempt to conceal the origins of the funds. The officials said that almost $2 million of Medicare funds were passed through these companies.
Garcia and another individual named Amaury Perez were indicted in June 2015 after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services. These charges were part of a wider investigation conducted by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is a multi-agency team formed in 2007 consisting of United States federal, state, and local investigators dedicated to investigating Medicare fraud. The strike force has produced over 2,000 indictments involving almost $2 billion in allegedly fraudulent billing.
Garcia will be sentenced on January 5. Perez is still at large.