Houston Area Physician Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud
HOUSTON - A local physician has admitted to participating in a conspiracy involving medical tests, procedures and office visits that were not medically necessary, not properly provided or both, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Rezik Saqer, 64, a licensed anesthesiologist of Houston, entered his guilty plea before Magistrate Judge Christina Bryan this morning.
At the hearing, Saqer admitted he submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and other private insurance companies for financial gain.
From around January 2010 through September 2015, Saqer and his co-conspirators often overbooked patient appointments to maximize billings. Unlicensed co-conspirators often conducted the follow-up appointments which frequently lasted less than the typical face-to-face time that is require. These unlicensed co-conspirators were unqualified to perform medical care in the United States. However, Saqer frequently billed and caused the billing of higher reimbursement codes.
Saqer billed, or caused to be billed, millions of dollars for medical tests, procedures and office visits that were not medically necessary, not properly provided or both.
Sentencing has been set for Oct. 22, 2019, before Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal. At that time, Saqer faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI and IRS – Criminal Investigtion conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tina Ansari and Department of Justice trial attorneys Andrew Pennebaker and Devon Helfmeyer are prosecuting the case.