9 Florida healthcare workers, business owners accused in national healthcare fraud scheme: DOJ

Ten people, including nine from Florida, are facing criminal charges for their alleged involvement in a national healthcare fraud scheme, according to the Department of Justice. 

The charges filed in the Middle District of Florida are a two-week nationwide law enforcement action that resulted in criminal charges against 193 defendants for their alleged participation in healthcare fraud and opioid abuse schemes that resulted in the submission of over $2.75 billion in alleged false billings.

The suspects allegedly defrauded programs entrusted for the care of the elderly and disabled by profiting from several healthcare schemes that resulted in the seizure of over $231 million in cash, luxury vehicles, gold, and other assets.

Those arrested and charged in Florida include:

  • Ma Gracia Cadet, 53, of Kissimmee 
  • Eva LeBeau, 65, of Clearwater
  • Lori Lebrecht, 60, of Largo
  • Robert Desselle, 46, of Sarasota
  • Marques Elijah Green, 29, of Windermere
  • Lisa Williams, 56, of Lithia
  • Lawrence Waldman, 57, of Miami
  • Erin Kim, 54, of Orlando
  • Eric Brewer, 28, of Lakeland
  • Waymon Wallace, 63, of Cincinnati, Ohio

Brewer is accused of stealing fentanyl that was to be used by patients in hospitals throughout Tampa and injecting himself with the illegal substance inside hospital bathrooms. He was caught when colleagues saw him acting impaired during a shift and after a person found his used bloody paper towel and needle inside a bathroom. Williams is also accused of tampering with fentanyl infusion bags at a hospital. 

Cadet, LaBeau, Desselle, and Green are all accused of fraudulently obtaining millions in Medicare funds by making fraudulent insurance claims. Waldman also made fraudulent claims to Medicare, obtaining nearly $380,000 in illegal kickbacks and bribes, the DOJ said. 

Kim is accused of prescribing over 1.5 million pills of Adderall and other stimulants, for which she was paid over $800,000.