June 26, 2009
MANAGER OF ADULT DAY CARE CENTER PLEAS GUILTY TO RECEIVING KICKBACKS
(McALLEN, Texas) – The manager of the la Familia Adult Day Care Center in Harlingen, Texas, has been convicted of receiving kickbacks and illegally referring Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to Fabian Aurignac, M.D., United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.
Martha Garcia Alaniz, 53, formally indicted on May 6, 2009, pleaded guilty today to Count 19 of a superseding indictment which accused her of receiving and cashing a $200 check from the Cardiology Care Center signed by Fabian Aurignac, M.D. to improperly refer La Familia’s Medicaid client to Aurignac and his staff for fraudulent and medically unnecessary cardiac services in connection with the client’s diagnosis and treatment. Alaniz has admitted to allowing Aurignac’s staff to take her clients from the La Familia Adult Care Center onto Recreational Vehicles, where false and fraudulent claims were submitted to Medicaid and Medicare for alleged cardiac services performed on the clients. Alaniz also permitted La Familia’s Medicaid and Medicare clients to be taken by drivers of the Cardiology Care Center to the center’s location on Ware Road in McAllen where further fraudulent billings occurred.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 2, 2009, at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Randy Crane. Alaniz faces a maximum punishment of up to five years in prison and a fine not to exceed $25,000. Alaniz is currently out on bond.
The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by the FBI and the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn Ferko prosecuted the case.
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