In recent weeks, we’ve reported on doctors and other medical professionals who have been knocked for charges including drug trafficking and murder. The recent sentencing of anesthesiologist Jaime Guerrero to 100 months in prison includes those charges, and more serious allegations.
Guerrero, who had offices in Louisville, KY, and Jeffersonville, IN, pleaded guilty to 31 counts of a 35 count indictment. The charges included unlawful distribution or dispensing of controlled substances, health care fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. According to the DEA, from November 2009 into May 2014, Guerrero “conspired with others to knowingly and intentionally distribute and dispense Schedule II and III controlled substances to patients, without a legitimate medical purpose and beyond the bounds of professional medical practice.” In an even more serious allegation, illegally provided Hydrocodone (a Schedule III drug) to a patient who died as a result.
The health care fraud was even more egregious. On three dates in 2011, Guerrero submitted fraudulent claims that he saw more than 100 patients (each day) for three minutes or less. More than 100 claims were filed “for office visits that were not medically necessary or within the course of usual medical practice.” On other dates, claims were submitted where office staff provided group counselling while he was out of the country. The claims were submitted to health care providers at a “higher code than the service provided.”
Lastly, the money laundering charge stems from Guerrero paying the taxes on the Jeffersonville office with $89,556.25 in cash gotten by the aforementioned illegal means.
In the plea agreement, “Guerrero agreed to forfeit his license to practice medicine, and to forfeit real property owned by Guerrero Real Estate Investments, LLC. Further, Guerrero agreed to pay $827,000 in victim restitution to nine health care benefit programs.”