A Florida woman sentenced to 35 years in prison for orchestrating a $205 million Medicare fraud scheme that involved paying bribes and kickbacks to owners and operators of assisted living facilities and others had her sentence commuted Tuesday by President Donald Trump.
The December 2011 sentence of Judith Negron, the former co-owner of Miami-based American Therapeutic Corp., at the time was one of the longest prison terms ever imposed in a Medicare Fraud Strike Force case, according to a 2011 Justice Department press release. The sentence also included three years of supervised release, and Negron and two co-defendants also were ordered to pay $87 million in restitution.
Tuesday, the president said that Negron and three others who had their sentences commuted “have paid their debts to society and have worked to improve their lives and the lives of others while incarcerated.”
Negron’s clemency, the White House said, was supported by her prison warden, her counselor and others. “According to her warden, Ms. Negron ‘has always shown herself to be a model inmate who works extremely well with others and has established a good working relationship with staff and inmates,’ ” the notice said.
Negron had been found guilty of 24 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, healthcare fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive illegal healthcare kickbacks, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and structuring to avoid reporting requirements.
She and two co-defendants, according to the Justice Department, paid the bribes and kickbacks to assisted living facilities, halfway houses and patient brokers in exchange for the delivery of Medicare beneficiaries who would participate in programs offered by ATC and another company, the American Sleep Institute, for which they were not eligible, receiving services that were unnecessary or not legitimate. The three reportedly used a third company to conceal the fraud.
Negron on Wednesday told the Associated Press that her case was brought to the attention of the president by people such as Alice Johnson, who received clemency in June 2018 after lobbying by reality TV star Kim Kardashian West. Johnson, according to the AP, had been serving time since a 1996 conviction on charges related to a Memphis, TN-based cocaine-trafficking operation.