Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
South Florida Man Sentenced to Prison after U.S. Department of Labor Uncovers Money-Laundering Healthcare Fraud Scheme
MIAMI, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has sentenced Lawrence Michael Weisberg – President of Weisberg & Associates PA in Boca Raton, Florida – to 6 months in prison and 12 months of supervised release, ordered him to pay a $7,500 fine, and forfeit $41,234 for his role in a healthcare fraud-related money laundering scheme.
EBSA investigators determined that Weisberg signed an employment agreement to serve as a sales representative with Smart Lab LLC, a confirmatory urinalysis testing facility located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Investigators found that Smart Lab LLC paid its sales representatives a “commission” for each sample referred to the lab by area substance abuse recovery facilities. In fact, the commissions were actually kickbacks that sales representatives then paid directly or indirectly to the referring facilities’ owners or employees.
Investigators found that Weisberg never acted in the capacity of a sales representative and that he passed all wages and commissions he received from Smart Lab LLC to a third party, using the employment contract between him and Smart Lab LLC to hide the true recipient of the payments. Between April 2016 and June 2016, Smart Lab LLC paid Weisberg $175,835. Investigators determined that Weisberg knew the payments were the result of unlawful activity. Once Weisberg deposited the funds into his account, he then distributed the funds as directed.
A state licensing authority in Florida revoked Weisberg’s law license in November 2018.
“Healthcare fraud victimizes the individuals involved, and the community at-large,” said Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Isabel Colon, in Atlanta. “Any person playing a role in healthcare fraud will be held accountable. The U.S. Department of Labor remains committed to ensuring that benefits are not abused.”
EBSA, the FBI, the IRS, the Amtrak Office of the Inspector General, the Office of Personnel Management-Office of the Inspector General, the Florida Department of Insurance Fraud, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Department, and other local police departments combined efforts in the investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida prosecuted the case.
Employers and workers can reach EBSA toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at https://www.dol.gov/ebsa.