Miami businesswoman pleads guilty to Medicare fraud

MIAMI (AP) — A Miami businesswoman who has been honored for her work in the health care field has pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicare out of millions of dollars.

The Miami Herald reports that 82-year-old Martha Lima entered her plea on Monday to conspiring to pay bribes to doctors to generate business. She faces up to five years in prison.

Lima received an entrepreneurial award in 2013 from the Latin Chamber of Commerce of the United States and served on the group’s board.

Federal prosecutors say Lima opened Continuous Home Care Services in 2005, and used a charity called Bridge of Love and Hope to funnel money to doctors and recruiters for Medicare patient referrals.

Her son, 56-year-old Luis Lima, also pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit Medicare fraud.

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