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Home healthcare company owner settles qui tam suit

Lourdes Perez, the owner of two of California’s largest home healthcare companies, has agreed to pay $33.8 million to settle federal charges that she defrauded Medicare and filed false tax returns to conceal the profits. The settlement may be one of the largest involving home healthcare providers, said Michael Brown, an attorney with the law firm of Phillips & Cohen, who represented the whistle-blower in the case.

Perez owned and operated Provident Home Health Care Services Inc. and Tri-Regional Home Health Care Inc., which together billed Medicare about $80 million annually.

The settlement was reported in th October 11, 2006 edition of the Los Angeles Times, which quoted federal prosecutors as saying that this type of fraud was a serious problem in Southern California.

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