LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Los Angeles woman was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison for using phony medical clinics and the stolen identities of doctors to defraud Medicare out of more than $6.2 million.

Carolyn Ann Vasquez, 47, was also ordered to pay $6.2 million in restitution by U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall, who said she must serve three years of supervised release following the prison term.

Vasquez pleaded guilty in March to conspiring with others to use a series of fake Los Angeles-area medical clinics to defraud Medicare from 2007 to 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

It wasn’t the first medical fraud case to be brought against Vasquez.

According to court documents, she pleaded guilty in 1993 to participating in a health care fraud scheme in which she and others used telemarketers to defraud government-funded health care benefit programs out of about $41 million.

In the latest case, Vasquez admitted that her co-conspirators used the identities and Medicare provider numbers of physicians to submit bogus claims to Medicare for work the doctors did not perform and for power wheelchairs, medical equipment and diagnostic tests that the physicians did not order or prescribe.

She acknowledged that as a result of her conduct, Medicare was defrauded of nearly $6.3 million.

A co-defendant, Eduard Aslanyan, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy charges and is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 6.

A second co-defendant, David Garrison, a physician assistant who worked at the fraudulent medical clinics with Vasquez and Aslanyan, is scheduled for trial on Jan. 24.

Comments (8)
  1. Jose Rodriguez says:

    what can i say, mexicans are caught committing crime again and again. What a disgrace to the mexicans. Even women now are committing crime one and other…

  2. Occupy Court System says:

    Yet, if she had stolen just a couple grand from a bank with a gun, she’d be getting 5 to ten years……

    Justice system is for the rich….

    She’ll be out in 2 or less due to overcrowding…

    She’s a REPEAT offender too, why the lenient sentence?

  3. Daniel Su says:

    Medicare and Medicaid fraud accounts for about 30 percent to 40 percent of the agency’s total budget, according to news reports. In hard numbers that was $60 billion annually. Critics say that because Medicare reimburses in 14 days, the agency encourages fraud. Oversight is lax, allowing companies to operate with impunity until an investigation catches up with them. Medicare also relies on third-party contractors to investigate billing irregularities (thus increasing the costs of fraud), but may not act on the information in a timely fashion (see the Houston Chronicle series). And in many cases, companies that have been accused of fraud are speedily and easily reinstated after a hearing. Not all of them have committed fraud – some are legitimate companies that were caught up in Medicare’s complex billing regulations.

    It is too easy for criminals to cheat the Medicare program , I am sure they will defraud the goverment health care again after prison term, payoff is way too sweet to go staight, punishement is rather lenient. I am more interested in how the goverment attempts to recover the money they lost. Goverment probably will give up recovering the money, due to no one is responsible to collect it. If there are investigation in the future about the status of recovering money, there will be finger pointing among different personnel/department.

    While criminals in prisons are couting the days to enjoy their retirement using the money stashed in overseas account.

  4. Frank says:

    teach me how and I will do it for that little time,crime does pay in this stupid society.I have lived out of this country many years and if you do this crime
    believe me they would beat you to death on the way to jail and that is the law I like because you would not be able to do it again.

  5. bella says:

    Kick that person out of the USA if illegal have the IRS after her, do not allow her to work with anything medical! I bet she has her money hidden and when she gets out of jail she still has her money! a few years in Jail and it is easy street for her! I just don’t get it, she already commit fraud and continues to get away with it!

  6. Ben says:

    That’s a good example of the term “Lazy Mexican”

  7. David says:

    This is pretty cool.

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