Nestor Home Health owner sentenced to 75 months for Medicare fraud

Feds say Cruz Sonia Collado paid kickbacks to patient recruiters, submitted more than $6 million in false claims

MIAMI – The owner and operator of a Miami home health care company was sentenced to 75 months in prison Monday for her participation in a multimillion-dollar Medicare fraud scheme.

Federal prosecutors said Cruz Sonia Collado, 64, of Homestead, pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to offer and pay health care kickbacks, and one count of offering and paying health care kickbacks.

Collado was the owner and operator of Nestor Home Health, which purported to provide home health and physical therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries.

According to court documents, Collado paid kickbacks and bribes to patient recruiters in return for the recruiters providing patients to Nestor Home Health for unnecessary services, many of which were not provided. Collado then fraudulently billed Medicare for home health care services on behalf of the recruits.

From March 2009 through at least January 2014, Nestor Home Health submitted and was paid more than $6.1 million in false claims, prosecutors said.

Collado was also ordered to pay more than $6 million in restitution.