Florida Resident Guilty of Fraud and Identity Theft in Medicare Scam
MIAMI — A jury returned a guilty verdict against Yenky Sanchez, 25, of Miami. Sanchez was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349; one count of conspiracy to commit authentication feature fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1028(a)(3) and (f); and ten counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1). The guilty verdict against Sanchez follows on the heels of the guilty plea by his co-conspirator, Raul Lazaro Diaz-Perera, 43, of Miami, for the same charges, announced Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
According to the evidence at trial against Sanchez, and in the factual proffer filed with the court during Diaz-Perera’s plea hearing, Diaz-Perera was a former supervisor at the Florida Department of Children and Families’ call center in downtown Miami. On the day he was fired, October 28, 2010, Diaz-Perera negotiated with a cooperating subject to sell the Medicare numbers of elderly and disabled Floridians who had applied to DCF for food stamps, cash benefits, and Medicaid. The intent was for those numbers to be used to fraudulently bill Medicare for services that were never provided to the DCF beneficiaries. Diaz-Perera obtained the Medicare numbers from the DCF computer system through a contact he had at DCF.
That contact was defendant Yenky Sanchez, who was then working as an employee at DCF’s call center in downtown Miami. Sanchez used his access to the DCF internal computer system to obtain the names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and Medicare numbers of 148 elderly and disabled Floridians. Sanchez then gave the personal identification information to Diaz-Perera, who sold it to the cooperating subject on December 15, 2010.
Diaz-Perera negotiated a second time with the cooperating subject to sell additional Medicare numbers. Diaz-Perera again turned to Sanchez to obtain the numbers. Sanchez again used his access to the DCF computer system to steal the names and other identification information, including Medicare numbers of more than 400 beneficiaries. Sanchez then gave these additional numbers to Diaz-Perera, who attempted to sell it to the cooperating subject on January 18, 2011.
On June 30, 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga sentenced Diaz-Perera to 36 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Sentencing for Sanchez is scheduled for November 21, 2011. At sentencing, Sanchez faces a maximum of ten years in prison on the health care fraud charge, five years on the authentication feature fraud charge, and two years each for the aggravated identity theft charges.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service’s Identity Theft and Economic Crimes Task Force, the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, and the Miami-Dade County Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert J. Luck and Adam M. Schwartz. The Office commends the Florida Department of Children and Families for its cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of two of its former employees. Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, Miami Division; Michael K. Fithen, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; Dawn E. Case, Inspector General, Florida Department of Children and Families; and James K. Loftus, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department.
Identity Theft in Medicare Scam.