An emergency suspension order that the Florida Department of Health slapped on pharmacy technicians Annia Marrero and Zugeilys Castillo last month adds another link between the Miami-Dade cousins.
From November 2013 through May 1, 2016, by their own admission, the pair committed $2.6 million in Medicare and Medicaid fraud at two Hialeah pharmacies. Just 11 days after Castillo’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing was dismissed for failure to file information in 2015, Marrero filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
And, last year, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare and wire fraud.
The admissions are in court documents. The state reacted by suspending them.
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The cousins aren’t doing time together. Castillo, who lived in Miami Beach, remains in the state, at FCI Coleman in Sumterville, until March 31, 2020. Marrero, who lived in Miami, was shipped to a minimum security federal prison camp in Alderson, West Virginia, until Jan. 20, 2019.
Marrero worked for Castillo from November 2013 through September 2015 at the Castillo-owned D&Y Pharmacy, 3715 W. 16th Ave, and from September 2015 through May 1, 2016, at Florida Pharmacy, 5366 W. 12th Ave., both in Hialeah.
The fraud worked like this: Castillo and Marrero would pay cash kickbacks to Medicare and Medicaid patients. Then, they would submit claims for prescription drugs and other health items covered by the government healthcare agencies. But D&Y and Florida Pharmacy hadn’t provided the drugs or items.
While they were at D&Y, Marrero filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, claiming a monthly income of $1,733.33 salary, $263 in food stamps and $100 from family members. She declared she had $10 in her wallet and $200 in the bank. Court documents say her $49,194 in credit card debt was discharged without payment.
Meanwhile, Marrerro and Castillo conned the government out of $1,899,211 through D&Y Pharmacy. They hustled only $703,786 through Florida Pharmacy.