Lima was recognized as the "Entrepreneur of the Year" by the
But in mid-November, the 82-year-old head of a home healthcare business is scheduled to be judged by a different kind of group -- a federal jury. They will decide whether she masterminded a multimillion-dollar scam against the taxpayer-funded
Lima, who is a member of the CAMACOL board, faces trial along with her son, Luis. They are accused of defrauding
While such corruption charges are commonplace in
Moreover, during the past decade, home healthcare as an industry became such a hotbed of fraud in
Although the Lima indictment was filed in February, CAMACOL's interim president said she only learned about it in recent weeks and now plans to seek her removal from the board at its next meeting on Wednesday.
"As of right now, she is still on the board," said CAMACOL's interim president,
"At this point in time, all the parties are working toward finding a solution to this case," said attorney
According to the indictment,
Both the mother and son are accused of conspiring to submit "false and fraudulent claims" to
The defendants "falsely and fraudulently represented that home health and physical therapy services were medically necessary, prescribed by a doctor, and had been provided to the
They are also charged with paying kickbacks to doctors for patient referrals, which required signing off on "plans of care" for patients who purportedly needed healthcare services at home because they were physically unable to visit a medical office.
The mother, son and their co-conspirators also paid thousands of dollars in kickbacks to patient recruiters who provided a steady stream of
Perwin is seeking to recover
If the mother and son are convicted and cannot repay that sum, the prosecutor plans to seize substitute assets owned by them. The indictment lists 10 Miami-Dade real estate properties, most of them located in the Little Havana neighborhood.
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