USA v. Rodriguez, No. 21-20270 (5th Cir. 2022)

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Justia Opinion Summary

Defendant owned and operated a healthcare clinic. Along with another provider, Defendant engaged in a scheme to fraudulently bill Medicare for home health services that were not properly authorized, not medically necessary, and, in some cases, not provided. Insiders testified to Defendant's role in the conspiracy, indicating she knew the home healthcare agencies were paying marketers to recruit patients. Defendant also told an undercover FBI agent she could show him how to make money by recruiting patients. Defendant was convicted and sentenced to 300 months in federal prison.

Defendant appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence against her. However, the Fifth Circuit affirmed her conviction, finding that a rational jury could have concluded that Defendant knew about and willfully joined the conspiracy. Additionally, the court rejected Defendant's challenges to her sentence, finding that the district court did not commit a procedural error and that her sentence was not substantively unreasonable.

Primary Holding

The Fifth Circuit affirmed Defendant's conviction and 300-month sentence for conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, rejecting her challenges to the sufficiency of the government's evidence as well as to her sentence.

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