Owner of Med-Quick Diagnostics Convicted In Illegal Kickback Conspiracy
|April 24, 2012|
McALLEN, Texas - The owner of an area medical supply and diagnostic testing company has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the federal anti-kickback statute, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Jose “Joe” Trevino, 44, of Weslaco, Texas, pleaded guilty this morning before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez to a one-count criminal information charging conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback statute. The federal anti-kickback statute prohibits individuals and entities from knowingly and willfully paying or offering to pay, as well as soliciting or receiving, remuneration (money or other things of value) in return for the referral of patients for medical services or items which are benefits under a federal health care program, such as Medicare or Medicaid. A violation of the statute is a felony offense.
According to information presented by the United States at today’s hearing, Trevino is the owner of Med-Quick Diagnostics, a medical supply and diagnostic testing facility located in Weslaco, Texas. From approximately September 2009 through April 2011, Trevino authorized thousands of dollars in illegal kickback payments to an area marketer, Alicia Vasquez, in exchange for Vasquez’s referrals of numerous Medicare and Medicaid patients to Med-Quick. Trevino paid the kickbacks to Vasquez through a third-party - referred to in the criminal information as “Person A.” The kickbacks were deposited into Person A’s bank account, from where the money was later diverted to Vasquez. Med-Quick subsequently billed Medicare and Medicaid hundreds of thousands of dollars for patients that were illegally referred by Vasquez.
Vasquez previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing.
Judge Alvarez has scheduled Trevino’s sentencing for July 25, 2012, at which time, he faces up to five years in federal prison, without parole, and a $250,000 fine.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Gregory S. Saikin is prosecuting the case.