Miami Healthcare Fraud Attorney
Effectively Handling Healthcare & Medicaid Fraud
Jeffrey S. Weiner has represented physicians, veterinarians, medical professionals, and healthcare organizations and employees since 1974. Laws relating to the medical profession, federal programs, billing, and prescribing medications are confusing, constantly changing, and fraught with peril for the unwary, leaving physicians, veterinarians, pharmacists, chiropractors, nurses, and healthcare organizations and their employees vulnerable to criminal investigations and serious charges. For over 47 years, our Miami healthcare fraud attorneys have represented people being investigated for or who have been charged with a wide variety of healthcare-related offenses.
We are intimately familiar with:
- Insurance Fraud
- Tax Fraud Violations
- Medicare / Medicaid Fraud
- Internet Pharmacy Violations
- Improper Solicitation of Patients
- Inappropriate contact with patients
- Over-prescribing controlled medication
- Criminal negligence in the practice of medicine
The penalties for even minor violations can be substantial, including the loss of your professional license and professional sanctions, along with criminal charges. When facing charges, it is important to remember that the stakes are high and incarceration is a possibility with strict sentencing guidelines which must be considered by your trial judge. Please keep in mind that parole is not available any longer in the federal criminal justice system or in the state of Florida. Miami health care fraud attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner has extensive experience helping medical professionals and healthcare organizations navigate the criminal justice system. He will vigorously defend your rights during criminal investigations and trial and in professional regulatory proceedings.
Miami Healthcare Fraud
Why would a physician risk his or her career and reputation by committing criminal acts?
We have successfully represented many physicians in Medicare and other types of healthcare fraud cases brought in federal court. Some were physicians, who were allegedly part of conspiracies to rip-off the federal government by making false diagnoses and prescribing treatment, home health care, home visits, physical therapy, medical devices, and medication when not medically necessary, all to make a profit. Often, these physicians did not properly plan financially for their retirements and found themselves in need of money. It was easy for them to be employed by unscrupulous clinic operators, or in their own practices, knowing that word would quickly get around that they were available for unnecessary prescriptions, home health care, and other such services.
Sometimes, physicians, dentists, and veterinarians from foreign countries who move to the United States do not want to take the time and effort to become properly licensed, so they practice without a license – often out of their homes – and in less than ideal conditions for their patients. State courts often charge these types of crimes – always felonies.
We have represented physicians and dentists who have allegedly molested their patients, sometimes with the knowledge or suspicion of misconduct by fellow physicians or nurses, who have not reported it. Some physicians have been suspected of practicing medicine while intoxicated or high on drugs.
Jeffrey S. Weiner has found in his 47+ years as a criminal defense attorney that physicians who are used to having the respect of the public typically react to a visit by federal investigators by giving statements without the benefit of criminal defense counsel. As a result, in many of those instances, the physician – whether intentionally or otherwise – gave inaccurate or intentionally false statements which were later used against him or her.
It is essential that physicians, like everyone, understand that attempting to prove their innocence to investigators or law enforcement officers, without consulting with competent federal criminal defense counsel, is almost always a mistake – sometimes so serious that their license to practice medicine is placed in greater jeopardy than if they simply stated, “Under the circumstances, I respectfully decline to make a statement until I consult with counsel.”
Contrary to popular belief, such action will not make you appear “guilty.” Rather, it will let the investigators and law enforcement officers know that you are intelligent, that you care about your license and profession, and that you are smart enough to insist upon counsel to guide you through the horrible experience of being accused of something that could irreparably damage your reputation and result in your being prevented from practicing your learned profession or, worse, place you at risk of losing your freedom by being convicted of a crime, almost always a felony – the most serious category of crimes.
So, whether you recall the incident in question or the patient(s) being inquired about; whether you are innocent or guilty of misconduct; our absolute best advice to you is not to speak with law enforcement agents, other than to say what we have suggested above.
Though most people, especially medical professionals, believe they will never fall under the scrutiny of law enforcement, the reality is that innocent physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and other healthcare providers are often falsely accused. Therefore, prudent healthcare professionals will seek out and meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney, ideally before you are a suspect, but certainly immediately upon being contacted by police or federal agents. Interview several criminal defense attorneys if you wish, but find one with experience representing professionals such as you and establish an attorney/client relationship with that attorney. Then, should that dreaded day ever arrive, you will have an attorney to call who is competent, who knows you, and who will be ready to act at a moment’s notice.
Federal crimes, including healthcare fraud, are prosecuted by prosecutors from the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and by local federal prosecutors known as Assistant United States Attorneys. Since federal healthcare fraud involves millions and possibly billions of dollars in loss to the federal government, federal prosecutors have been specially trained to prosecute healthcare fraud cases. The prosecutors from the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., almost always work directly with the local prosecutors and agents on these cases. There are certain cities and counties that have received special focus from the federal government because of the prevalence of healthcare fraud. Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Doral, and other cities and unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Margate, and other cities in Broward County, and the many municipalities in Palm Beach County are among those targeted areas. Very highly trained prosecutors are assigned to handle these cases, and those prosecutors typically focus only on healthcare fraud cases. These prosecutors are experienced. They know what to look for when deciding whether to charge healthcare crimes. They also will make important decisions as to who they want to be a witness, as opposed to a defendant. Ideally, your Miami healthcare fraud attorney will be able to have a friendly, professional relationship with the agents, and especially the prosecutors, to get you the best possible result – which, hopefully, means avoiding criminal charges for you.
In the past several years, many agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been assigned to investigate terrorism and related activities, including money laundering. However, even with this diversion of agents, the FBI has been actively involved in investigating healthcare fraud. Many of these agents are also specially trained, so they understand the nuances of how federal healthcare fraud is often committed. These days, virtually all FBI field offices investigate healthcare fraud.
Most federal criminal healthcare prosecutions involve Medicare. Medicare is a program exclusively operated by the federal government. Medicaid, on the other hand, are programs administered by individual states, while following federal requirements. As a result, most Medicaid fraud prosecutions are state prosecutions. Florida has been very active in prosecuting Medicaid fraud, often after investigations by the Florida Department of Insurance, and with specially trained agents, accountants and auditors, who work exclusively on healthcare fraud cases. The state of Florida investigates these crimes through detectives, agents, investigators, and prosecutors from many agencies, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Department of Insurance, and local State Attorney offices. Florida does not have District Attorneys, as many states do. In Florida, local state prosecutors are known as Assistant State Attorneys. On state-wide crimes, the prosecutors are known as Assistant Statewide Prosecutors.
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“Excellent knowledge and grasp of the law”- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on Google
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“"In this world it is not always "what" you know, it is truly "who" you know."”- Robert D., on Google
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“"Jeff is not only a colleague, he is one of my closest friends, someone I respect and admire for the way he has served and continues to serve his clients."”- David Elden, on Google
We Are Top-Rated Criminal Defense Attorneys
We Get the Best Possible Result in Each Case
We Have Served Criminal Defense Clients and Fellow Lawyers For Over 47 Years
We Wrote “the Book” on Federal Criminal Rules & Cases
We Are Available 24/7 for Emergencies & Offer Free Initial Consultations