Federal Grand Jury Files Obstruction Charges Against Santa Fe Cardiologist Awaiting Sentencing on Health Care Fraud Charge
New Indictment Charges Roy G. Heilbron with Attempting to Obstruct Pending Criminal Case by Submitting Fraudulent Documents to U.S. Probation Officer
ALBUQUERQUE – Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney and Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division announced that a federal grand jury has returned a new indictment charging Roy G. Heilbron, 54, a cardiologist residing in Santa Fe, N.M., with false statements and obstruction charges. The new charges against Heilbron arise out of his alleged attempt to obstruct and impede proceedings in a pending criminal case.
The two-count indictment, which was filed yesterday, charges Heilbron with making and presenting fraudulent documents regarding his medical condition to a U.S. Probation Officer, and submitting the fraudulent documents for the purpose of postponing or avoiding sentencing in a pending health care fraud prosecution. The new indictment alleges that Heilbron committed the two crimes in Bernalillo County, N.M., and elsewhere, between Aug. 3, 2017 and Aug. 7, 2017.
Heilbron pleaded guilty in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a health care fraud charge on Feb. 17, 2017, under a plea agreement recommending a sentence of two years of imprisonment followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. The Feb. 17, 2017 press release summarizing the proceedings in the health care fraud case in which Heilbron pleaded guilty is attached.
On Aug. 7, 2017, Heilbron’s attorney filed a motion to continue Heilbron’s sentencing hearing, which was scheduled for Aug. 28, 2017, to permit Heilbron to begin chemotherapy in Costa Rica for prostate cancer. The motion included two attachments: a one-page “Treatment Protocol for Roy Heilbron” dated Aug. 3, 2017, which purported to detail Heilbron’s alleged prostate cancer diagnosis, and a three-page “Clinical Summary” dated June 24, 2017, which purported to outline a four-cycle chemotherapy treatment plan. The two documents purported to be authored by a physician with offices in San Jose, Costa Rica, and Miami, Fla.
On Aug. 9, 2017, a U.S. Magistrate Judge issued a warrant for Heilbron’s arrest based on a criminal complaint alleging the same charges as those contained in the new indictment. The complaint outlined the FBI’s investigation into the claims made in the “Clinical Summary” and “Treatment Protocol,” and alleged that Heilbron created the two documents himself and that Heilbron was not a patient of the physician whose name appears on the fraudulent documents. According to the complaint, Heilbron allegedly provided the fraudulent documents to his U.S. Probation Officer on Aug. 4, 2017, in support of a request to postpone his sentencing hearing.
Heilbron was arrested by the FBI in Charlotte, N.C., on Aug. 19, 2017. Heilbron currently is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, which is in the process of transporting Heilbron back to New Mexico to face the charges in the new indictment and sentencing in the health care fraud case.
If convicted on the charges in the new indictment, Heilbron faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years of imprisonment on the false statements charge and 30 years of imprisonment on the obstruction of justice charge. Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the Santa Fe and Albuquerque offices of the FBI, with assistance from Charlotte office of the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremy Peña and George C. Kraehe.