MIAMI (AP) - A Miami woman has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for her role in a $205 million Medicare fraud scam involving mental health centers.
Authorities said Marianella Valera manipulated records so patients would have to stay longer at the facility, racking up higher Medicare bills. She was sentenced Monday.
Valera and Lawrence Duran owned American Therapeutic Corp., the nation's largest community mental health center chain.
The company paid owners of assisted living facilities and halfway houses to bring patients in for therapy sessions that were never held. In some cases, authorities said elderly patients were left in rooms for hours and weren't cognizant of where they were or what was happening.
Duran was sentenced to 50 years in prison Friday - the longest sentence under the Medicare strike force.
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