Judge Imposes Draconian Sentences in Medicare Fraud Scheme

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On Sept. 16, 2011,a federal judge in Miami sentenced Lawrence Duran to 50 years in prison, the longest sentence ever imposed in a Medicare fraud case, for his role in a massive fraud scheme that resulted in more than $205 million in losses. Duran was also ordered to pay $87 million in restitution.

Duran was co-owner of American Therapeutic Corporation with Marianella Valera, his girlfriend. Both of them pleaded guilty in April to fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy charges after being arrested in October 2010. In their pleas, Duran and Valera admitted that they executed the scheme from 2002 until their arrest in 2010. A total of 34 people, including employees of American Therapeutic, doctors, and nurses were arrested in connection with the scheme.

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