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May 28, 2010

HOUSTON PODIATRIST AND HIS UNLICENSED PODIATRIST CO-DEFENDANT SENTENCED TO PRISION FOR HEALTH CARE FRAUD

(McALLEN, Texas) – Franklin Beltre D.P.M., 40, of Houston, and a co-defendant have been sentenced to prison for committing more than $1 million in Health Care Fraud for submitting false and fraudulent claims to both the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced today.

Beltre was sentenced today to 36 months incarceration by United States District Judge Randy Crane to be followed by a three-year-term of supervised release. In addition to the prison term, Beltre was ordered to pay  $691,128.04 in restitution, which represents the amount he was paid for the false and fraudulent claims he had submitted to both Medicare and Medicaid. Indicted in September 2009, Beltre pleaded guilty on Jan. 27, 2010, to health care fraud.

At the time of his guilty plea, Beltre admitted to defrauding two health care benefit programs, specifically Medicaid and Medicare, by means of false and fraudulent claims in connection with the use of unqualified, unlicensed medical personal and for billing for medical services not rendered as described in count six of indictment. From April 29, 2006, through May 6, 2006, while vacationing in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Beltre submitted claims to both Medicare and Medicaid for podiatric services he never performed and that were actually performed by co-defendant Manuela Alana, an unlicensed, unsupervised podiatrist and resident of Pharr, Texas. Judge Crane also sentenced Alana today. She will be serving a 24-month term of incarceration to be followed by a three-year-term of supervised release. 

Beltre has been ordered to surrender to the United States Marshals Service (USMS) on  June 14, 2010, in Houston to begin serving his sentence. Alana must surrender on June 21, 2010, to the USMS in McAllen to begin serving her sentence.

The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, the FBI and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn Ferko prosecuted the case.  

 

 

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