MIAMI — Her job as marketing director for a Miami-based mental health care chain was to bring in the patients and nobody did their job better than Margarita Acevedo.
Investigators say she paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to South Florida assisted-living facilities, halfway houses and recruiters to supply thousands of Medicare beneficiaries to American Therapeutic Corp.’s chain of seven clinics -- patients who didn’t need the costly treatment.
On Thursday, Acevedo, 41, of Southwest Miami-Dade, pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay kickbacks in exchange for patients and conspiring to bilk between $100 million and $200 million from Medicare, in the largest mental healthcare fraud case in the country.
Her change of plea in a Miami federal court makes Acevedo the first defendant among 24 indicted since last fall to admit playing a role in American Therapeutic’s “massive fraud scheme” against the taxpayer-funded healthcare program for seniors and the disabled, according to court records.
She faces between 12 and 15 years in prison at her mid-July sentencing, according to sentencing guidelines.
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