Two Men Plead Guilty to 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 entered guilty pleas in connection with a scheme to defraud Medicare, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Ivar Cantu, 46, of Palmview, pleaded guilty today, while co-defendant Omar Solis, 35, of Mission, pleaded guilty Dec. 7. Both admitted to conspiring to commit health care fraud.
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 misappropriated patient urine specimens from the medical clinic and sent them to the toxicology testing company without consent of the patient or doctor in order to receive commissions and collection fees from the testing company. In order to carry out the scheme, Cantu and Solis forged patient signatures, falsified medical records and created fictitious documents.
As a result of the scheme, Medicare was billed $836,788 between May 2015 and December 2015.
Sentencing for both Solis and Cantu is scheduled for Feb. 28, 2018, before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez. At that time, both men face up to 10 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The FBI, Department of Health and Human Services‐Office of Inspector General and Texas Health and Human Services Commission conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Swartz is prosecuting the case.