Richard, 38, was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud national social insurance program Medicare, one count of conspiracy to pay or receive health care kickbacks, two counts of paying kickbacks to induce referrals of Medicare beneficiaries, one count of money laundering conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to obtain forced labor, and one count of presenting false statements in an immigration document.
On the other hand, Maribel, 40, was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud Medicare, one count of money laundering conspiracy, and one count of conspiracy to obtain forced labor.
The US Attorney's Office, however, reminded the public that an "indictment is not evidence of guilt" and the accused are "presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."
A report on The Chicago Sun Times said the couple used three Lincolwood-based home healthcare companies—Donnarich Home Health Care, Inc., Josdan Home Health Care Inc., and Pathways Home Health Services LLC—to amass $45 million from 2008 to 2014.
According to prosecutors, the health companies "paid bribes and kickbacks in exchange for referring elderly and disabled patients for treatment that was funded by Medicare; ignored doctors who refused to certify beneficiaries as being in need of in-home treatment; and falsified medical records to make patients appear sicker than they actually were."
Patients First Physical Therapy Inc., Richard and Maribel's company, allegedly then "billed itself as providing in-home therapy services to patients of the three companies" and concealed the money through personal purchases and by listing them as business expenses.
The Tinimbangs were also accused of attempting to force a Filipino they sponsored to sign a "servitude contract," The Chicago Tribune reported.
Richard reportedly promised to hire the woman as a business analyst for $50,000 a year but employed her as a full-time nanny and housekeeper with a daily rate of $66 instead.
The Tinimbang's then allegedly attempted to force the woman to sign a seven-year "servitude contract" that would require her to pay $25,000 in damages should she quit before her term ended.
No date has been set for the trial of the couple. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News
- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/562552/news/pinoyabroad/pinoy-couple-in-chicago-indicted-over-45-m-scam-forced-labor#sthash.2E0qEN6e.dpuf