McAllen woman charged in Medicare kickback conspiracy
McALLEN, Texas – A 44-year-old McAllen woman has been charged with conspiring to pay illegal kickbacks to physicians and marketers in exchange for the referral of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
A federal grand jury returned the indictment, under seal, against Claudia Haro Oct. 9, which was unsealed as authorities arrested her today. She is expected to make her initial appearance tomorrow morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker.
The indictment charges Haro with engaging in a conspiracy from 2011 through 2016. Haro and her co-conspirators allegedly paid kickbacks to physicians and various other individuals in exchange for beneficiary referral and certification and for services and supplies billed to Medicare and Medicaid. According to the indictment, Haro delivered cash payments in return for the referral of beneficiaries to a home health agency and other providers with whom Haro was associated.
Haro is also charged with one count of making false statements to federal agents.
If convicted of any of the charges, she faces up to five years in prison.
The FBI, Department of Health and Human Services‐Office of Inspector General, Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Texas Health and Human Services Commission conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Swartz and Cynthia Villanueva are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.