Miami man charged with health care fraud bought houses in Florida
A Miami man has been charged with 10 counts of healthcare fraud for allegedly submitting $38million in false claims – and used some of his ill-gotten gains to buy Florida real estate , according to a federal indictment.
Armando Valdes, through his medical clinic Gasiel Medical Services, falsely billed United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield for medically unnecessary infliximab infusions, according to the US Department of Justice. The drug, used to treat autoimmune diseases, is an expensive prescription made by Janssen Biotech.
Valdes reportedly ran his scheme from February 2015 to July this year, raising nearly $8 million in proceeds from fraudulent claims.
It is not uncommon for suspected and convicted fraudsters to purchase real estate, especially in South Florida.
Valdes reportedly used money from the Infliximab program to buy nearly $2.2 million worth of real estate, including a condo at Sabbia Beach in Pompano Beach, a condo at Aventura ParkSquare, a single-family home in Estero, Florida, and a single-family home and adjacent land in Sebring, Florida, according to court and property records.
Valdes paid $1.2 million in 2020 for Unit 505 at Sabbia Beach, a three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo, records show. It’s now on the market for over $1.5 million.
He paid $562,000 in 2018 for the one-bedroom, 868-square-foot Aventura ParkSquare unit at 2960 Northeast 207th Street. The mixed-use development, built by Integra Investments, had a strong medical and wellness focus.
Property records show Valdes also paid $395,000 for the four-bedroom, 2,251-square-foot home at 19302 Elston Way in Estero a year ago, and $355,000 in 2019 for the four-bedroom, 2-bedroom home. 853 square feet and adjacent land at 3574 and 3566 Lakeview Drive in Sebring.
The government also alleges that Valdes used the funds to purchase a white 2018 Cadillac Escalade and a 2016 Tesla Model S. The 10 counts of health care fraud he faces each carry a maximum of 10 years per count, for a total of up to 100 years in prison if convicted.