After being arrested for submitting more than $1.8 million in fraudulent Medicare claims according to court records, Evelio Fernandez Penaranda, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud. Penaranda worked as President, Director, and Registered Agent of Naranja Pharmacy Inc. The pharmacy submitted claims to Medicare for prescription drugs even though the prescriptions were not provided to Medicare beneficiaries, were not medically necessary, and for that matter, weren’t prescribed by physicians. Penaranda and his accomplices submitted these claims without the consent of the doctors or Medicare beneficiaries whose identifying information was being stolen. Penaranda admitted to managing the bank accounts of Naranja Pharmacy and transferring payments to himself.
The case is being prosecuted by trial attorney, Nicholas E. Surmacz, of the U.S Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. Penaranda is facing a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of up to ten years. Additionally, Penaranda must pay Restitution for the full amount of $1,876,241.65 and is excluded from Medicare, Medicaid, and all federal health care programs.