The coronavirus pandemic has been fun for absolutely no one. Especially, here in the State of Florida, cases seem to be surging on a daily basis. Needless to say, we’re nowhere out of the proverbial woods yet. On behalf of the entire Allegiant Experts team, we wish everyone a very safe and healthy journey out of these awful times. Here’s hoping we can celebrate an end to this awful crisis sooner than later.

Until then, it’s imperative we all do our part to stay safe and healthy. While a reminder may not be necessary, we implore everyone to continue washing their hands regularly, wearing masks when in public and maintaining social distancing as much as humanly possible. In asking you all of this, we affirm our belief that COVID-19 must be taken seriously. Sadly, there are those who consider the pandemic a reason to seek economic gain.

Carlos Belone was arrested on July 10.

As the United States Department of Justice reports, 37 year-old, Carlos Belone was arrested last week. It is alleged he fraudulently sought several Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and participated in a scheme to defraud Medicare of at least $5.6 million. The Coconut Creek, Florida man is also accused of using a portion of the PPP loan proceeds to further his Medicare fraud scheme.

Officially, Belone was charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud; conspiracy to commit health care fraud; payment of health care kickbacks; and making false statements to a financial institution. The complaint alleges that he submitted several fraudulent PPP loan applications to federally insured financial institutions, other SBA-approved lenders, and the SBA in the name of R&S Pharmacy Inc. (R&S Pharmacy).

Belone was an owner of R&S Pharmacy.

The durable medical equipment company is alleged to have submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for orthotic braces that were medically unnecessary. They were also ineligible for Medicare reimbursement and/or not provided as represented. 

According to the DoJ, report, “patients interviewed as part of the investigation stated that they did not want or need orthotic braces; had not authorized their Medicare number to be used to submit claims for orthotic braces; and/or that they did not receive orthotic braces as represented by R&S Pharmacy in the claims that Belone and his co-conspirators submitted to Medicare.”

Belone’s actions violate the CARES Act.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  “One source of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP,” explains the DoJ.

The complaint against Belone alleges that in order to support his fraudulent PPP loan applications, he submitted fake tax documents and doctored profit and loss statements for R&S Pharmacy. As well, Belone is accused of succeeding in fraudulently obtaining over $22,000 in PPP loan proceeds and making payments to a company suspected of furthering the Medicare fraud scheme. As part of his scheme, he directed approximately $12,000 of the PPP loan money to a personal account under his control.

Are you an attorney who is currently trying a health care fraud case?

Please don’t hesitate to contact Allegiant Experts to find out how our clinical expertise may help your case. Give us a call at 407-217-5831 or email us at info@allegiantexperts.com.