Healthcare fraud is taken extremely seriously by federal investigators. The Obama administration has made uncovering healthcare fraud schemes one of its highest priorities.
Some of the biggest cases have been in Texas. Dozens of criminal actions are announced every month against doctors and healthcare workers by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
In September, Tariq Mahmood, a doctor from Cedar Hill, Texas, was resentenced to federal prison. Two years ago, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, seven counts of aggravated identity theft and seven counts of health care fraud.
Prosecutors said from January 2010 to April 2013, the doctor and others were part of a scheme to defraud Medicaid and Medicare by submitting fraudulent claims.
After his appeal, Mahmood was resentenced to 135 months in federal prison. He faces paying restitution in the amount of $145,358.23 to Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.
In the same month, the U.S. Department of Justice said the owner of a Texas medical billing company was convicted on conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.
Veronica Vela, 42, of Mission, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez.
Vela, was the owner of ABC DME. She pleaded guilty to engaging in a scheme with co-conspirator Cynthia Zapata, 50, to submit false claims to Texas Medicaid for supplies that were not given as claimed. The defendants billed for equipment that that was not authorized by physicians who received them, prosecutors said.
One of the biggest healthcare frauds in recent years was centered in Texas. The defendants faced stiff penalties.
In April, Dr. Jacques Roy, 58, of Rockwall, Texas, was convicted of fraud for allegedly “selling his signature” to allow almost $375 million in false claims to Medicaid and Medicare. The scheme was described as the biggest home healthcare fraud case in the history of both programs.
A jury convicted Roy of eight counts of committing healthcare fraud, two of making a false statement, one of conspiracy, as well as one of obstructing justice. Three other medical workers were also convicted. Each of these charges carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. The obstruction-of-justice and false statement convictions carry a sentence of up to five years in prison. Each count carries fines of $250,000.
At the Medlin Law Firm we are well aware of the seriousness of federal white collar offenses like healthcare fraud and have decades of practice in criminal defense. Call us today for a free consultation if you have been charged by a crime at (682) 204-4066.