February 12, 2018
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (571) 362-2887
Fort Lauderdale Doctor And Staff Arrested For Running A Pill Mill
(WESTON, Fla.) - Dr. Andres Mencia, 60, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested on February 6, 2018 at his clinic, the A.G.I. Medical and Dental Center located at 1608 E. Commercial Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on federal charges of Conspiracy to Dispense Controlled Substances, Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud, and Money Laundering.
Also arrested were Dr. Mencia’s medical assistants Nadira Sampath-Grant, 50, Oscar Luis Ventura-Rodriguez, 40, and John Mensah, 50. All are accused of prescribing high amounts of opioids and other addictive drugs for no legitimate reason to patients seeking pills, as part of scheme where they and Dr. Mencia billed Medicare and Medicaid for medical consultations during which in actuality, they issued prescriptions for opioids and other drugs in exchange for cash payments,.
As alleged in the indictment, beginning in or around January 2015, Dr. Mencia, Venutra-Rodriguez, Sampath-Grant and Mensah conspired to perform sham consultations with Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and other patients, the true intent of which was to issue them prescriptions for opioids and other drugs in exchange for cash payments. In some instances, the defendants billed Medicare and Medicaid for these consultations and the prescriptions were filled at Medicare and Medicaid participating pharmacies.
The investigation further revealed that from January 1, 2015, through August 2017, Dr. Mencia prescribed over 1.2 million dosage units of opioids to his patients. The A.G.I Medical and Dental Center website describes the practice as a “one-stop-shop for all of your medical and dental needs”. Evidence gathered from undercover operations shows that the practice is operating as a pill mill.
Following his arrest and when served with a suspension order, Dr. Mencia surrendered his DEA registration and his State of Florida medical license.
Dr. Mencia is charged with knowingly and intentionally dispensing a controlled substance. The indictment further alleges that Dr. Mencia purchased two residential properties with the illicit proceeds. Ventura-Rodriguez, Sampath-Grant and Mensah are charged with knowingly and intentionally dispensing a controlled substance.
If convicted on all charges, each defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment on each count.
This investigation was conducted jointly by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the Aventura Police (PD), the City of Miami PD, the Miami-Dade PD, and the Miami Gardens PD. It is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.