Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
July 25, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Miami-Dade Psychiatrist Sentenced in Various Fraud Schemes
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and additional federal partners today announced the sentencing of a Miami-Dade psychiatrist for participating in various schemes to defraud Medicare, Medicaid, the U.S. Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Fernando Mendez Villamil, 48, of South Miami is sentenced to more than 12 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.
Villamil previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and make false statements with respect to immigration matters and conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims. As a result of the fraudulent scheme, various governmental programs run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Florida Medicaid program, the SSA and USCIS sustained a combined loss more than $62.8 million.
Villamil, a licensed psychiatrist with a medical office in Miami-Dade, provided fraudulent mental health diagnoses to thousands of individuals seeking to obtain disability benefits and waivers from the civic and language requirements of the U.S. citizenship and naturalization process. Villamil provided these false diagnoses in exchange for bribes and kickback payments and the ability to submit false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for medication management visits not needed and not provided. Villamil also issued prescriptions for medications in order to support a false disability claim and cause Medicare and Medicaid to pay for unnecessary medications.
The Honorable Frederico A. Moreno, a U.S. District Judge, sentenced Villamil. The court also ordered Villamil to pay more than $50 million in restitution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric E. Morales and Special Assistant United States Attorney Hagerenesh Simmons prosecuted the case.
Attorney General Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the SSA Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Miami Field Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Miami Field Office and the USCIS participated in the investigation.
Three co-conspirators of Villamil previously pled guilty in connection to this case. Maritza Exposito, of Miami, is sentenced to four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $33 million in restitution. Yomara Vila, of Miami, is sentenced to more than two and a half years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $500,000 in restitution. Arnaldo Jimenez, of Hialeah, is sentenced to six months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution.
Related court documents and information regarding this case can be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at FLSD.USCourts.gov or at Pacer.FLSD.USCourts.gov.
The Florida Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes providers that intentionally defraud the state's Medicaid program through fraudulent billing practices. Medicaid fraud essentially steals from Florida's taxpayers. From Jan. 2011 to the present, Attorney General Bondi's MFCU has obtained more than $500 million in settlements and judgments. Additionally, the MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program.