Crime

Some of the prescriptions were fake. But the $8.4 million Medicare fraud was real.

The owner of a West Miami-Dade pharmacy became the latest South Florida healthcare fraudster to plead guilty Tuesday in Miami federal court, admitting to running an $8.4 million Medicare fraud.

Miami Beach resident Antonio Perez, Jr., 48, will be sentenced Dec. 18 on his one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. He was one of the 124 South Floridians charged in June’s colossal healthcare fraud sweep by federal prosecutors.

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In addition to whatever time he gets in federal prison, Perez has agreed to forfeiture of $8.4 million. To satisfy that, the government will take whatever is in four personal bank accounts, three business accounts for Valles Pharmacy and sell 5757 Collins Ave., #2302, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,310-square foot condominium Perez bought in 2012 for $450,000, according to Miami-Dade property records.

By the time Perez bought that unit, court documents say, he was a year into a seven-year scam run through Valles Pharmacy, 8538 SW Eighth St.

He paid kickbacks to get Medicare patients to fill prescriptions at Valles, court records show. That allowed him to submit false Medicare claims for prescription drugs, for which Valles was reimbursed.

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