The 50-year federal prison sentence of a Miami executive who operated the nations biggest mental-health clinic scam against Medicare has been upheld by an appeals court.
The 2011 sentencing of Lawrence S. Duran, 51, the former owner of the Miami-based American Therapeutic Corp. chain, was the longest in the history of Medicare fraud cases.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found last week that the sentence by U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King was reasonable in light of the size of Durans scheme: more than $200 million.
The appeals court also upheld Kings 35-year sentence of Durans live-in partner, Marianella Valera, 42, who was ATCs chief executive officer and a licensed therapist.
The sentences are harsh, but the offenses were grave, the Atlanta appeals court ruled. So goes the world of crime and punishment.