A Miami man was charged with 10 counts of health care fraud for allegedly submitting $38 million in false claims — and used some of his ill-gotten gains to purchase real estate in Florida, 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 infusions of Infliximab, the U.S. Department of Justice alleges. The medication, used to treat autoimmune diseases, is an expensive prescription made by Janssen Biotech.
Valdes allegedly ran his scheme from February 2015 to July of this year, collecting nearly $8 million in proceeds from the fraudulent claims.
It’s not uncommon for alleged and convicted fraudsters to purchase real estate, especially in South Florida.
Valdes allegedly used cash from the Infliximab scheme 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 lot 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 more than $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 heavy focus on medical and wellness.
Property records show Valdes also paid $395,000 for the four-bedroom, 2,251-square-foot house at 19302 Elston Way in Estero a year ago, and $355,000 in 2019 for the four-bedroom, 2,853-square-foot home and adjacent lot at 3574 and 3566 Lakeview Drive in Sebring.
The government is also alleging that Valdes used the funds to purchase a 2018 white Cadillac Escalade and a 2016 Tesla Model S. The 10 counts of health care fraud that he faces each carry a maximum of 10 years per count, for a total of up to 100 years in prison if he is convicted.