Rio Grande Valley Area Doctor Charged in Illegal Kickback Scheme
McALLEN, Texas ‐ A Rio Grande Valley area doctor has been taken into custody for his scheme to solicit and obtain illegal kickbacks in exchange for Medicare patient referrals, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
A grand jury in McAllen returned the sealed indictment Jan. 17, 2017, against Dr. Jose de Jesus Martinez, 51, of Palmhurst. Authorities arrested him today, at which time the indictment was unsealed. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby this morning.
The indictment alleges Martinez solicited and obtained cash in exchange for referrals of Medicare beneficiaries to prospective home health agencies. The home health agencies would then submit claims with Medicare based on the referrals furnished by Martinez for the illegal kickback payments, according to the charges.
Martinez allegedly received cash payments as illegal kickbacks for the referral of Medicare beneficiaries. The indictment alleges instructed others to alter patient records in order to enable the home health agencies to submit claims for the home health services initiated through the illegal kickback payments.
Martinez is charged with one count of conspiracy to solicit or receive Illegal remunerations, three counts of illegal remunerations and one count of obstruction of criminal investigations of health care offenses. All offenses carry a maximum five years in federal prison.
The FBI, Department of Health and Human Services‐Office of Inspector General, Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission-Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Swartz and Michael Day 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.