Two Men Indicted in Medicare Fraud Scheme in Rio Grande Valley
McALLEN, Texas ‐ A former laboratory technician at a medical clinic in Mission and an account representative for a toxicology testing company have been indicted in connection with a scheme to defraud Medicare, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Ivar Cantu, 46, of Palmview, was arrested today and is set to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby at 10:30am. Co-defendant Omar Solis, 35, of Mission, was taken into custody yesterday.
The 18-count indictment charges Cantu and Solis with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, Cantu and Solis fraudulently set up an account between the medical clinic where Solis was employed as a laboratory technician and the toxicology testing company for whom Cantu was an account representative. During the latter half of 2015, Solis allegedly misappropriated urine specimens of patients of the medical clinic and sent them to the toxicology testing company without the consent of the patient or doctor in order to receive commissions and collection fees from the testing company. Cantu and Solis forged patient signatures, falsified medical records and created fictitious documents in carrying out the scheme, according to the indictment.
As a result of the conspiracy, Medicare was billed $836,788 between May 2015 and December 2015.
The charge for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and each of the eight counts of health care fraud carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine, upon conviction. Each of the nine counts of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two‐year additional prison term which must be served consecutively to any other prison sentence imposed.
The FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services‐Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Swartz is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.