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Jackson Memorial Hospital was hit by a plague. Something in the air was causing many of the workers to suffer from symptoms of asthma and require nebulizers and prescriptions for respiratory drugs. The individual claims were small, but the totals were enough to obstruct the airways of Dade County’s Self Insurance Fund. Despite the claims for medical equipment and drugs, none of the people shown as patients suffered from any real breathing difficulties. All of the claims were simply so much paper, but they cost the fund an estimated $300,000+ in paid claims. Investigators discovered the doctors’ signatures had been forged and that the payments were being delivered to mail drop locations. Eleven public hospital and transit workers were charged with fraud and racketeering and more arrests are anticipated. At the time of the first arrests, another $500,000 in fake billings were pending payment. Ringleaders were identified as Mirely Coronel and H&W Mildrey and Jose Rodriguez. The Rodriguezes were responsible for the vast majority of the fraudulent billings; the numbers suggested that Coronel was just getting the hang of the scam when it was busted. Shell companies used for the stream of fake billings include Yarma Medical Supply, L&K Medical Equipment and Las Mercedes Medical Equipment.
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