Parkland FL man’s Medicare fraud prison sentence, forfeiture

Parkland FL man’s Medicare fraud prison sentence, forfeiture

Along with a Rolls Royce, a Lamborghini, a Cadillac Escalade, a Mercedes, numerous Rolexes and jewelry (there’s a list below), the punishment for Parkland’s Patsy Truglia’s $18 million health care fraud cost him a six-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom waterfront house.

But, Truglia will have a rent-free place to lay his head after receiving a 15-year sentence Thursday from U.S. District Judge Victoria Hernandez, who suggested Truglia be housed at FCI Miami federal prison. Truglia goes from living in 5,083 square feet, according to Broward County online property records, to what the Federal Bureau of Prisons describes as “dormitory or cubicle housing.”

Truglia also got hit with $18,320,304 in restitution after his guilty plea to two counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of false statements related to health care matters. Truglia’s crony Ruth Fernandez is scheduled to be sentenced April 7 on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of false statements related to health care matters.

“Every defendant in this case shared a common trait — greed,” IRS-Criminal Investigations Special Agent in Charge Brian Payne said. “The desire for money fueled them to commit crimes against our healthcare system and prey upon those in our society who deserve our highest respect, the elderly and military veterans.

Truglia’s targets were Medicare and CHAMPVA program, a health care program through which the Veterans Administration shared the cost of health care services and supplies. CHAMPVA provided the supplemental coverage for what Medicare didn’t cover.

The scheme, according to Truglia’s guilty plea, was based in a telemarketing operation.

Medicare fraud and military veteran care fraud

From January 2018 through April 2019, Truglia, Fernandez and others used multiple telemarketing companies to get medical and personal information of federal health care plan beneficiaries, sometimes buying the information from third parties. They used that information to make orders for durable medical equipment (DME), such as braces for knees, backs, shoulders and wrists.

Those orders weren’t medically necessary, but Truglia had a way to conceal this fact. His admission of facts says they sent the orders “to purported “telemedicine” vendors that, in exchange for a fee, paid illegal bribes to medical practitioners to sign the DME brace orders, often without ever contacting the beneficiaries to conduct the required telehealth consultations.”

The telemedicine company named was Comprehensive Telcare, operated by Tampa’s Richard Epstein and Mike Nolan, working with Paul Savastano. Comprehensive used a program to create “bogus supporting medical practitioner orders such that each medical practitioner’s order for a particular item of DME included certain identical supporting “objective notes.””

Truglia then took back the signed brace orders and sold them to “third-party DME fronts as support for the fronts’ fraudulent, illegal claims submitted to Medicare and other federal health care programs.”

In early 2018, Truglia and his pals bought five DME fronts: Indian Shores Bracing; Village Medical Supply; Cordial Medical Supply; Self-Care Bracing; and Tiger Medical. The fronts, Truglia’s admission says, were bought from Indian Rocks Beach’s Kelly Wolfe, through her company, Regency, Inc. (state records say Regency was dissolved Sept. 24, 2021).

Truglia’s group used the fronts to submit $25 million in fraudulent Medicare claims, $12 million of which got paid out. Truglia’s guilty plea says Regency processed and submitted the claims for 5% of what Medicare paid.

(Wolfe’s been charged with attempt and conspiracy to commit mail fraud and fraud and false statements).

This came to an end in April 2019 after the execution of Operation Brace Yourself, a multiagency action that targeted scam schemes.

Truglia and friends decide, Let’s do it again

Undeterred, Truglia and his cronies created T&T Creation of Florida, purportedly a telemarketing company run by LouTricia Morgan.

And, then using Advanced Medical Bracing and two other DME fronts, they worked a similar scheme as before from April 2019 through July 2020. This time, they submitted $12 million in faux DME claims to Medicare and $6.3 million was paid.

A 2017 picture of the Parkland house of Patsy and Christine Truglia. It’s among the goods and cash Patsy Truglia lost in forfeiture in addition to his federal prison sentence for health care fraud. Broward County Property Appraiser

The forfeiture list

This is a list of assets Truglia lost because their acquisition could be traced to the ill-gotten gains of his scams

$11,146,514.30 from 12 bank accounts (including an account at JPMorgan Chase that contained all of $26.68);

The 2018 Ferrari 488 Spider was involved in a crash before it was seized. So, prosecutors seized the $304,578.85 insurance payout;

2017 Rolls Royce Wraith, VIN: SCA665C56HUX86847;

2019 Cadillac Escalade, VIN: 1GYS3DKJ6KR251577;

2019 Lamborghini Urus, VIN: ZPBUA1ZLXKLA01913;

2015 Mercedes Benz CLA, VIN: WDDSJ4EB9FN162248;

One stainless steel Rolex, serial No. A184742;

One men’s stainless Datejust II Rolex, 41mm, serial No. E36434Q8;

Custom-designed diamond bezel added to a Rolex;

Custom-designed diamond dial with diamond numeral markers;

One 15-carat white gold diamond bracelet dipped in rose gold;

One men’s two-tone custom design Rolex, 18-carat and stainless steel, serial No. 7D7G2516, model No. 126333 with diamonds;

One 14-carat white gold, diamond tennis bracelet;

One men’s stainless steel 41mm, Datejust II Rolex, with a custom diamond bezel and dial, serial No. O0Q6P871;

A custom diamond bezel for 41mm stainless Rolex, approximately 7.40 carats;

One two-inch rose gold diamond Cuban links necklace;

A custom-designed diamond cross with an approximately 6.25-carat diamond;

One Franko-designed chain;

One women’s 18-carat white gold diamond necklace;

Cuban necklace, 241.6 grams and matching bracelet;

One 12 1/4 size ring;

One 14-carat yellow gold diamond ring;

One Rolex Sky Dweller custom-made with emerald cut and round diamonds rose gold 18-carat;

A custom-made 18-carat ladies diamond eternity band, baguettes and round 5 1/4;

Diamonds added to the band and side casing of a stainless steel 40 mm Rolex;

Two diamond custom made Italian horns with chain, 14 carats;

One 14-carat white gold and diamond stud cluster earring;

One men’s ring with diamond;

Plain hoop earrings;

And, the house and land at 10035 Bay Leaf Ct., which county records say Truglia and his wife bought for $1.2 million on July 11, 2018. That includes Lot 28, Block G, Parkland Golf and Country Club Replat #2.

This story was originally published February 6, 2022 2:08 PM.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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