Three Texas men were found guilty by a Federal jury of participating in a health care fraud scheme that investigators say netted the men over $150 million in ill-gotten gains.
Last week saw the conclusion of a three-week trial of the trio, a 47-year-old man from San Antonio, a 47-year-old man from Harlingen, and an 82-year-old man from Laredo. According to prosecutors, the three made tens of thousands of dollars in false claims to hospice and other health care services via a health care corporation owned and operated by the three.
Investigators say the men used the business to convince patients that they had conditions or diseases that were incurable and would shortly lead to their deaths. They say the men arranged for those with incurable diseases to become clients of the business, and even had clergy visit with the patients to discuss death arrangements.
To qualify for hospice care, a patient generally has to have a life expectancy of six months or less. However, prosecutors say the men enrolled patients for hospice care for several years at a stretch, reaping the pecuniary benefit all along. In addition, a witness for the prosecution said the men admitted to attempting to keep the patients alive as long as possible and fired employees who did not agree to go along with the plan.
Investigators say the Laredo man used his offices as mayor of Rio Bravo to accept kickbacks for hospice patients, and that the other two men actively obstructed justice by falsifying records and presenting them to a federal grand jury. The men also allegedly laundered money through companies they created using names of third parties as well.
All three of the men were found guilty by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The men from San Antonio and Harlingen were also found guilty of six counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, and the Laredo man was convicted of one count of health care fraud, obstruction of health care investigations and one count of false statements. The men from San Antonio and Laredo were also each convicted of one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks.
The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.