(CN) – Federal prosecutors charged two doctors and three others with defrauding Medicare of $8.5 million in three HIV/AIDS clinics in New York City. Prosecutors say the clinics were “healthcare fraud mills,” which the doctors ran by recruiting HIV-positive patients and “paying them a kickback of $50 each” for use of their Medicare numbers.
Dr. Roberto Aymat, 44, of Manhattan, and Dr. Jorge Rivero, 82, of East Brunswick, N.J., ran the scam with help from Asmed Barrera, Augusto Guzman and Osvaldo Sotolongo, according to the conspiracy complaint in Manhattan Federal Court.
All except Rivero were arrested Wednesday. Rivero is expected to surrender.
The doctors billed Medicare “for reimbursement for drugs that had either never been purchased, never been administered, or were medically unnecessary,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. They billed the government for 10 times the amount of drugs they actually bought, and most of their services were either never provided or were unnecessary, according to the complaint.
The doctors ran medical clinics on Wadsworth Avenue in Manhattan, Second Avenue in Manhattan, and Rockaway Parkway in Brooklyn. If convicted, they all face up to 20 years in prison.