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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Two RGV Residents Indicted for Health Care Fraud

McALLEN, Texas – Two Rio Grande Valley residents have been taken into custody for submitting fraudulent claims for payment to Texas Medicaid for durable medical equipment (DME) supplies that were never delivered to Medicaid beneficiaries, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

A federal grand jury in McAllen returned the indictment Feb. 26, 2019, against Everardo Villarreal, 46, of Edinburg, and Delilah Rae Robles, 38, of Weslaco. It was unsealed today as they were taken into custody. They are expected to make initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott Hacker on Friday, March 1, 2019.

According to the indictment, Villarreal was the owner and operator of now defunct Durable Medical Supply Depot of Elsa. Robles was his secretary and Medicaid biller.

The indictment alleges they committed one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, four counts of substantive health care fraud as well as two counts of aggravated identity theft of local Medicaid beneficiaries’ personal Medicaid numbers.

From on or about April 2010 to on or about September 2014, Villarreal and Robles allegedly  billed Texas Medicaid in excess of $850,000 for DME that was either never delivered or was only partially delivered to Medicaid beneficiaries.  The indictment alleges Villarreal and Robles purchased or arranged for the purchase of personal Medicaid identification numbers of local Medicaid beneficiaries in order to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicaid for items that were never intended to be delivered. 

Each of the counts of health care fraud related matters carries a maximum of 10 years in federal prison. If convicted of identity theft, they each also face a mandatory two years imprisonment which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. All of the charges also carry a $250,000 maximum possible fine.  

The Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General and the FBI conducted the investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Marian Swanberg and  Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Swartz 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.

 

Topic(s): 
Health Care Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated February 28, 2019