TX health and fitness executive sentenced to 20 many years in fraud scenario

Melissa M. Munoz

A Texas health care govt explained to Alzheimer’s and dementia clients they would die in a lot less than 6 months to set them in hospice, officials say. This is a stock picture downloaded from Getty Photos. It is a Royalty Free graphic. Getty Photos A Texas health care govt […]

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A Texas health care govt explained to Alzheimer’s and dementia clients they would die in a lot less than 6 months to set them in hospice, officials say. This is a stock picture downloaded from Getty Photos. It is a Royalty Free graphic.

A Texas health care govt was sentenced to 20 a long time in jail in a plan to steal hundreds of thousands of bucks from Medicare by lying about how long individuals with incurable disorders would reside so he could enroll them in hospice courses, according to a information launch this week from the Department of Justice.

Rodney Mesquias, 48, of San Antonio falsely advised “thousands of patients with lengthy-phrase incurable health conditions, this kind of as Alzheimer’s and dementia, they had significantly less than six months to stay and subsequently enrolled them in hospice plans,” the launch stated.

“It is unconscionable and evil to prey upon the most susceptible in our neighborhood to commit fraud against governing administration-funded plans,” Christopher Combs, Specific Agent in Cost of the FBI’s San Antonio division, said in the launch.

Mesquias “owned and controlled the Merida Group, a significant health treatment enterprise that operated dozens of locations throughout Texas,” according to the launch. He and co-conspirators produced “$150 million in false and fraudulent claims for hospice and wellness care services” involving 2009 and 2018 to Medicare “to fund lavish personalized paying out,” the release mentioned.

Sufferers on such hospice treatment just cannot get coverage for “curative medical expert services,” according to the release. Some of the victims of this scheme “were going for walks, driving, operating and even coaching athletic sporting situations in some circumstances,” prior to they ended up “aggressively enrolled” in hospice care, the release explained.

Mesquias utilised the stolen revenue to obtain “a Porsche, costly jewellery, luxury outfits from large-finish vendors these as Louis Vuitton, unique authentic estate, season tickets for premium sporting situations and a security detail and bottle support at significant-finish Las Vegas nightclubs,” in accordance to the release. He also gave tens of 1000’s of pounds really worth of liquor to doctors “in exchange for medically avoidable affected individual referrals,” the launch reported.

Mesquias fired personnel who did not want to go along with the scheme, according to the release. He also obstructed justice by falsifying health-related information and providing them to a federal grand jury, the launch stated.

“Mesquias and his co-conspirator Henry McInnis, 48, ended up both of those convicted of a person count every single of conspiracy to commit wellbeing treatment fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to obstruct justice,” in accordance to the release. They were both equally convicted of six counts of well being care fraud and Mesquias was also “convicted on 1 rely of conspiracy to fork out and get kickbacks,” the launch stated.

McInnis’ sentencing will get area at a later date, as will the sentencing for two other co-conspirators who pleaded guilty, in accordance to the release.

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Brooke is native of the Pacific Northwest and most not too long ago labored for KREM 2 Information in Spokane, Washington, as a digital and Television producer. She also worked as a normal assignment reporter for the Coeur d’Alene Press in Idaho. She is an alumni of Washington Point out College, wherever she acquired a degree in journalism and media generation from the Edward R. Murrow School of Interaction.

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