They included many with substance-abuse problems who did not meet Medicare’s eligibility requirements, said Davis, who worked on the case with prosecutors Marlene Rodriguez and James Hayes.
“These defendants preyed on scores of vulnerable people,” Davis said.
Some of the patients with drug or alcohol addictions were lured from out of state with promises of a roof over their heads.
Once they arrived, with their valuable Medicare cards in hand, they would be squeezed into Broward and Miami-Dade halfway houses and steered to Biscayne Milieu’s purported mental health programs, according to prosecutors.
If they dropped out of the group therapy sessions, they would lose their housing.
A social worker at Biscayne Milieu also assisted patients seeking U.S. citizenship by completing immigration forms falsely indicating they suffered from mental illnesses.
That enabled the patients to avoid taking the citizenship test, prosecutors said.
Also convicted of healthcare fraud at trial: Rafael Alalu, a clinical therapist, and Jacqueline Moran, who handled the company’s Medicare billing.
In December, Alalu, 47, of Miami, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison.
According to trial evidence, the clinic’s executives, along with Kushner and Alalu, fabricated records, prescriptions and certifications to make it appear that ineligible patients had received legitimate mental health treatment.
Two patient recruiters, Anthony Roberts and Derek Alexander, were also found guilty of participating in the scheme by seeking and accepting kickbacks in exchange for sending patients to the Biscayne Milieu clinic in an office park off the Palmetto Expressway.