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Medical supplier is accused of phony billings, mail fraud

The supply firm's owner allegedly falsified more than $600,000 in invoices for a man's care over seven years.

By GRAHAM BRINK

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 14, 2000


TAMPA -- An owner of a Tampa medical supply company has been indicted on a charge of mail fraud for allegedly mailing falsified invoices for the care of a patient to an insurance company.

Nancy J. Diaz, who operated Bay Side Medical and Bay Side Medical Equipment and Supplies at 5103 S MacDill Ave., is accused of submitting fraudulent invoices to Northbrook Property & Casualty Insurance in St. Petersburg totaling more than $600,000 over seven years, according to a federal indictment made public Monday.

In 1989, Orlando Valdes moved into Migdalia, an adult living facility administered by Diaz at 2302 N Lincoln Ave. in Tampa.

Valdes, now deceased, suffered severe cranial problems after a work-related injury. His medical expenses, including residential care, nursing and medical equipment and supplies, were provided by Northbrook, the workers' compensation insurer for Valdes' company.

According to the indictment, Diaz fraudulently charged Northbrook for medical equipment and supplies purportedly for Valdes' exclusive use from 1989 to about 1996. As part of the scheme, Diaz also allegedly obtained a fraudulent prescription for 36 monthly refills.

She sent all the false invoices for the supplies and services to Northbrook through the mail, the indictment states.

- Graham Brink can be reached at (813) 226-3365 or brink@sptimes.com.

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