Medical Identity Theft: Medical Equipment Co. Owner Sentenced to Prison

I just ran across this U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) press release from January 20, 2009…

R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, announced the January 16, 2009 sentencing of defendant Remberto Sarmiento, 47, of Miami. Sarmiento was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro to eight years in prison.
In November 2008, a jury found Remberto Sarmiento guilty of twenty counts of health care fraud for his role in a scheme involving two Miami-based durable medical equipment companies, APR Medical Equipment, Inc. and Super Medical Supply, Inc. In total, Sarmiento’s companies submitted more than $7,000,000 in fraudulent claims to the Medicare program for reimbursement by using stolen patient information.
The evidence at trial revealed that Remberto Sarmiento purchased the two medical companies, maintained corresponding corporate bank accounts, signed checks drawn on those bank accounts, and then distributed fraud proceeds using a shell construction company. At the sentencing hearing, Judge Ungaro enhanced Sarmiento’s prison sentence after finding that he obstructed the government’s investigation when he lied to FBI agents by stating that he knew nothing about the two medical companies.
The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Parente Jr. and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Curtis.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on”

It’s absolutely amazing how many crooks are being found who have been stealing from unsuspecting and trusting people for so long. Why the heck weren’t these swindlers stopped back when their suspicious actions first started tipping people off that they were doing bad things?
More reason to check with any company you want to do business with to make sure they have not been investigated for criminal and/or fraudulent activities. Ask what kind of information security controls and audit activities they have in place. Ask them to validate any big claims of security that they make.
Also, if you are looking for a job, be sure to check out any potential company you may be interviewing with. Even in these hard economic times you do not want to find yourself working for a crook. Keep in mind if the company is scamming customers they are probably also scamming and stealing from their own employees! And even if they are not, you do not want to be an accomplice to crime.

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