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Broward Doctor, Healthcare Workers Charged With Fraud

 CBS Miami

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — A South Florida doctor and two healthcare workers have been charged with healthcare fraud which cost Medicare more than $11 million.

Those indicted include Broward County Doctor Salo Shapiro, 69,a  licensed nurse practitioner and former Miami resident Marlene Cesar, 63, and Mental Health Counselor Sonia Gallimore, 73, of Broward County.

The three were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, and false statements related to health care matters.

Authorities said they submitted over $55 million worth in false and fraudulent claims to medicare through a Miami-based clinic called Biscayne Milieu. The clinic operated a program which was a form of  intensive treatment for severe mental illness.

The three of them would allegedly admit people who were ineligible for the program and then allegedly fraudulently billed for services that were never provided.  Those considered ineligible are chronic substance abusers and those who suffer from severe dementia and would would not benefit from the therapy.

Federal officials said Dr. Shapiro authorized the treatment of patients that he knew were ineligible for the treatment.  They also said Cesar knowingly admitted the ineligible patients as a nurse practitioner.

The indictment also said Gallimore conducted sham therapy sessions for the ineligible patients.

As a result of the treatment of those patients, considered ineligible, Medicare paid the clinic over $11 million.

Various owners, a doctor, managers, therapists, patient brokers and other employees of the clinic have also been charged with various health care fraud, kickback, money laundering and other offenses in three other indictments.

The clinic’s owners along with more than 25 of the individual defendants charged in the case have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial.

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