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May 19, 2009

McALLEN MAN INDICTED FOR CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD MEDICARE AND MEDICAID AND PAYING ILLEGAL KICKBACKS

[McALLEN, TX] – Raul Torres, 59, of McAllen, Texas, has been indicted for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and paying illegal kickbacks, Acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced today. Torres was served this morning with the warrant that issued following the return of a sealed superseding indictment on May 6, 2009 and taken into custody by FBI agents at the agency’s offices in McAllen. Torres appeared before U. S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby this morning and has been ordered temporarily detained without bond pending a bond hearing set for Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. The indictment was unsealed following Torres’ arrest. 

The four-count indictment accuses Torres of conspiring to defraud Medicaid and Medicare and paying illegal kickbacks. Torres allegedly defrauded the health care benefit programs by means of false and fraudulent claims in connection with the use of unlicensed medical personal and for billing for medical services not rendered. According to allegations in the indictment, between August 2006 through October 2007 Torres recruited and paid several owners, managers, and directors of local Rio Grande Valley Adult Day Care Centers for the illegal referral of patients to Fabian Aurignac, M.D. 

Torres faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, if convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and up to 5 years in prison and a $25,000 for each count of illegal kickbacks.

The investigation leading to the charges in this case  was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn Ferko is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.       

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