Sept. 14, 2009
PODIATRIST INDICTED FOR HEALTH CARE FRAUD
(McALLEN, Texas) – A federal grand jury has indicted podiatrist Franklin Beltre, D.P.M., of Houston, for health care fraud, United States Attorney Tim Johnson and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced today. The eight-count indictment was returned on Sept. 10, 2009.
Beltre, 39, was arrested this morning at his office at Valley Medical Foot Care in San Juan, Texas, and has made an initial appearance before United States Magistrate Peter M. Ormsby. Beltre remains in federal custody without bond pending a bond hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, at 3:00 pm. Also charged along with Beltre is Manuela Alana, 40, an unlicensed podiatrist, of Pharr, Texas. A warrant remains outstanding for her arrest.
Beltre and Alana are accused in each of the eight counts of the indictment of defrauding Medicaid and Medicare of thousands of dollars by means of false and fraudulent claims in connection with the use of unlicensed podiatrists and unqualified medical personnel between August 2004 through September 2009. Beltre allegedly billed for medical services purportedly performed by him on dates when he was actually traveling outside the State of Texas and outside of the United States.
Beltre and Alana each face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, if convicted of health care fraud.
The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the FBI. 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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