(Another) New American Doc Rips Us Off, but it’s Even Worse Than That!

“Patients were put through unneeded anxiety and pain so the doctor could make millions! “

(US Attorney Ryan K. Patrick)

The Justice Department calls what Jorge Zamora-Quezada did “heinous.”

It didn’t take long to figure out that the convicted Texas doc was from Mexico, see here.

So much for those ‘new Americans’ who are in our country for a better life! This one sure had a better life (for awhile) as he supposedly benefited the US economy (not!).

From the US Justice Department:

Texas Doctor Found Guilty for Role in $325 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme Involving False Diagnoses of Life-Long Diseases

A federal jury found a Texas rheumatologist guilty today for his role in a $325 million health care fraud scheme in which he falsely diagnosed patients with life-long diseases and treated them with toxic medications on the basis of that false diagnosis. 

Following a 25-day trial, Jorge Zamora-Quezada, M.D., 63, of Mission, Texas, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, seven counts of health care fraud, and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.  Zamora-Quezada is expected to be sentenced on March 27, 2020, by U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa of the Southern District of Texas, who presided over the trial.

 

Attorney Michael Watts holds a poster while talking about charges against Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada at a news conference Monday, May 21, 2018, at the Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg.  You will see in this story that he was raising sons to follow in his footsteps by becoming doctors too! https://www.themonitor.com/2018/06/15/embattled-doctors-son-no-bond-left-patients-in-limbo/

 

“The conduct in this case was heinous.  Dr. Zamora-Quezada falsely diagnosed vulnerable patients, including the young, elderly, and disabled, with life-long diseases requiring invasive treatments that those patients did not in fact need,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s guilty verdict shows that the Department of Justice will work tirelessly to protect the public from unscrupulous medical professionals who greedily line their own pockets at the expense of their patients’ health and safety.”

“As evidenced by the length of trial, this was a massive investigation into one of the worst medical fraudsters,” said. U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas. “Unnecessary medical tests to create millions of dollars of false billing is as bad as it gets. Patients were put through unneeded anxiety and pain so the doctor could make millions. He won’t need it where he’s headed.”

“The guilty verdict against Dr. Zamora-Quezada ensures he will pay a steep price for his unthinkably callous and cruel criminal conduct, committed for the sheer sake of greed,” said Special Agent in Charge CJ Porter of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG).  “The abhorrent conduct in this case, which resulted in harm to unsuspecting patients, only serves to deepen the dedication of HHS-OIG agents and our law enforcement partners to pursue, prosecute, and exclude bad actors in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.”

“Rarely do we see such an egregious case of health care fraud, where so many patients received years of unnecessary and debilitating treatments, which were rendered out of sheer greed,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office. “The FBI is committed to seeking justice for each and every victim who suffered immeasurable harm at the hands of these defendants. The public deserves to be able to seek medical care without fear of being falsely diagnosed and given toxic medications they don’t need. We will relentlessly pursue those who would enrich themselves at the expense of those most vulnerable in our community.”

According to the evidence presented at trial, Zamora-Quezada falsely diagnosed a large number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a life-long, incurable disease – and treated them with toxic, medically unnecessary medications like chemotherapy drugs on the basis of that false diagnosis.

Many patients, including patients as young as 13, suffered physical and emotional harm as a result of the false diagnoses, chemotherapy injections, hours’ long intravenous infusions, and other excessive, repetitive and profit-driven medical procedures.  The evidence further showed that to obstruct and mislead a federal grand jury investigation, Zamora-Quezada falsified medical records.  Zamora-Quezada operated medical practices throughout South Texas and San Antonio.  He traveled to his various offices on his private jet and in his Maserati. 

There must be ads worldwide—become a doctor and go to the US to rip off dumb Americans.  I hope you are checking your medical professionals carefully.

By the way, I think Texas is giving the frauds and crooks in Michigan and Florida a run for their money!

New Americans Sent to Slammer over Massive Health Care Fraud Scheme

“[A]fter arriving in the United States from Cuba on a raft seeking refuge and a better life…they proceeded to build a vast empire of fraud.”

I could not find a photo of the Cuban crooks.

 

Here is the news directly from the US Justice Department, and I must say this is one of the better press releases I’ve seen from the feds especially for its mention of the fact that the Cuban crooks were refugees who then took advantage of us. (Immigration history is rarely mentioned.)

(Thanks to one of my many readers who share tips with me.)

We gave them an opportunity for a good life, they ripped us off and now we must pay for their incarceration!

Husband and Wife Sentenced to Prison for Roles in $38 Million Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud Scheme

Rodolfo Pichardo, 71, of Hialeah, Florida was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for masterminding a $38 million health care fraud and wire fraud scheme. His wife Marta Pichardo, 66, was sentenced to 8 years in prison for her role in the scheme.

[….]

Rodolfo Pichardo and Marta Pichardo previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud. On December 4, 2019, Rodolfo Pichardo, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rodolfo A. Ruiz to 188 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $33,841,576 in restitution. Today, Marta Pichardo was sentenced by Judge Ruiz to 96 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. She was ordered to pay $10,482,178 in restitution.

According to court documents, after arriving in the United States from Cuba on a raft seeking refuge and a better life, the Rodolfo Pichardo and his wife Marta Pichardo settled in Miami-Dade County, Florida where they proceeded to build a vast empire of fraud, consisting of at least six fraudulent home health agencies, three fraudulent therapy staffing companies, and two fraudulent pharmacies. Each of these entities purportedly provided home health services, therapy services, and prescription drugs, respectively, to qualified Medicare beneficiaries, though in fact and as both Rodolfo and Marta Pichardo knew, they did not.

From May 2010 through September 2016, the Pichardos and their co-conspirators used this empire to submit more than $38 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, for which the trust-based program then paid out more than $33 million.

Fueled their lavish lifestyle with your money!

The Pichardos then used this money to purchase multiple properties, high-end vehicles, expensive jewelry, plane tickets, vacations, cosmetic procedures, and more, both for themselves and their family members.

As part of the scheme, Rodolfo Pichardo offered and paid kickbacks, both by cash and by check, to numerous patient recruiters, in exchange for the referral of Medicare beneficiaries to home health agencies that he owned. The conspirators also offered and paid cash kickbacks to owners and operators of multiple Miami-Dade medical clinics, in return for acquiring medically unnecessary home health prescriptions for the recruited Medicare beneficiaries. These prescriptions were then used by the Pichardos’ various home health agencies and pharmacies to bill Medicare for purported services and pharmaceutical drugs that were provided to allegedly qualified Medicare beneficiaries

During the long-running scheme, the Pichardos took several calculated steps to conceal the fraud and avoid detection, including using nominee owners, changing names and locations of their fraudulent entities, and creating shell companies to conceal the receipt of the fraud proceeds, hide assets and transactions, and divert proceeds for both personal use and to further the fraud.

There is a bit more here.

So much for Michael Bloomberg’s New American Economy built on immigrant entrepreneurs.

As I have said before, the President should work some of the fantastic fraud busts his Justice Department is exposing into each rally he attends.  He could direct his staff to find one or two relevant to whatever state he is visiting.

I think Florida fraudsters might outnumber Michigan schemers here at ‘Frauds and Crooks’, but I’ll check my archives tomorrow on this blogs first anniversary!

Don’t forget to check in at Refugee Resettlement Watch which has been taking most of my attention in recent weeks!

Happy New Year!

First Muslim Woman Elected to Pennsylvania Legislature Resigns

“[B]razen corruption… her theft knew no bounds.”

(Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’)

 

Movita Johnson-Harrell has been charged (and plead guilty!) in a massive fraud scheme involving embezzlement from Medicare and Medicaid, charity fraud, and other assorted fraudulent schemes.

Although the story did get a fair amount of media coverage, I hadn’t heard about it until a reader, Judy, alerted me to a detailed article at American Thinker entitled:

CAIR Pennsylvania Poster Girl Resigns in Shame

Pals Movita Johnson-Harrell and Rep. Ilhan Omar gather in Washington DC at ‘Black women in defense of Ilhan’ rally. https://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/group-of-women-led-by-state-rep-movita-johnson-harrell/article_f0089192-7874-5cf9-969c-84b46f2af2c0.html

Movita Johnson-Harrell seemed to take pride in her position as the first Muslim woman elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Now that record will forever have an asterisk next to it as Johnson-Harrell has turned herself in to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s Office, pleading guilty on charges of perjury, record tampering, and embezzling over $500,000 in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security disability funds, as well as donations to Motivations Education and Consultation Associates (MECA), a charity she established to allegedly serve the mentally ill and drug addicted poor in her predominately African-American neighborhood.

[Rally for Ilhan is here in case link under photo won’t work.—ed]

In a press conference, Attorney General Shapiro described Johnson-Harrell’s actions as “brazen corruption… her theft knew no bounds.” Johnson-Harrell stole funds that personally belonged to the residents of her facilities and used it to purchase fox furs, trips to Mexico, to make payments on a Porsche, pay delinquent utility bills, cover her granddaughter’s private school tuition and even fund her political campaign. After the facility, where residents were living in squalor, was closed, Johnson-Harrell continued collecting their rent from MECA even though the facilities were no longer operating.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Johnson-Harrell’s dereliction of duty extended to her short time as a Pennsylvania state representative.

During her brief period in office, Johnson-Harrell seemed to spend the majority of her time celebrating herself as the first Muslim woman elected to the state legislature, and helping to fundraise and advocate for the Hamas-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

This event happened only in October of this year. If you can stand it go here to watch her talk about herself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6nLv_-GMiU

 

Two months after being in office Johnson Harrell flew across the country to Washington State to stand with anti-Israel BDS supporter Congresswoman Ilhan Omar at a CAIR fundraiser with a separatist theme “Muslim Power for 2020 & Beyond.”

There is much more here (including many links).

Author Leonard Getz has done a lot of work on this piece, so please visit for more of the disgusting news.

I’m joking, but because I see so many stories,  I do wonder if there are Muslim training programs that teach their followers how to scam the infidels through Medicare and Medicaid fraud, Food Stamp fraud and the all-too-common Day Care Fraud.

With how far Left Pennsylvania is moving, I’m actually surprised the Attorney General would go after a Muslim ‘rising star.’

Gives us all hope!

Don’t forget to visit Refugee Resettlement Watch as the refugee program is again on front pages of newspapers across the country forcing me to spend more time there then here at ‘Frauds and Crooks.’

LOL!  However, there is some crossover between my blogs!

Just as I was wrapping up I came across this (below)!  Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf was the first governor in the US to tell the President to send the state more impoverished refugees for the state’s taxpayers to take care of.

Oops!

 

Michigan: Afghanistan-born Surgeon Dubbed the “Greedy Butcher” to Spend Two Decades Behind Bars

A federal appeals court affirmed a lower court decision earlier this week that seeks to send a message to medical practitioners who are clearly seeking financial gain at the expense of their patients’ health.

The original court ruling against Dr.Aria Sabit was in 2017 (before I began writing ‘Frauds and Crooks‘ to highlight cases like this where ‘new Americans,’ supposedly here to follow the American dream ripped us off, or in some cases killed us). Hey, Michael Bloomberg, so much for immigrant entrepreneurs!

 

This is a screenshot. Visit the 2017 story here: https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/2017/01/06/sentence-for-accused-greedy-butcher-surgeon-truly-up-for-grabs/

 

From the Detroit Free Press:

A Birmingham neurosurgeon’s federal appeal failed, leaving him to serve nearly 20 years in prison because of his role in a $2.8 million insurance fraud scheme involving unnecessary spinal surgeries.

Aria Sabit also must deal with a lifetime of supervision and pay nearly $2 million in restitution because of the upheld sentence.

A three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the 2017 sentence on Monday. Dec. 16.

“After recounting the facts underlying Sabit’s conviction, the district court discussed the … factors and then handed down the sentence,” the opinion read. “That shows the district court took a holistic approach to justifying the sentence.

“And that holistic approach didn’t lack an adequate explanation: the district court spoke at length about Sabit’s ‘horrific criminal acts upon vulnerable and defenseless human beings’ and then explained why the sentence was necessary (1) to protect the public and (2) to deter other criminal conduct.”

The 11-page opinion concludes by saying the lower district court did not commit “reversible” error during Sabit’s criminal proceedings or when imposing his sentence.

“Thus, we affirm,” the opinion concluded.

Prior to his guilty plea and sentencing, Sabit owned and operated the Michigan Brain and Spine Physicians Group with several metro Detroit locations.

Sabit admitted to convincing more than a dozen patients to undergo spinal fusion surgeries that he never performed, causing serious bodily harm in some cases.

“He told patients they needed spinal surgery,” the just-released opinion detailed. “Sabit then operated on the patients and told them (falsely) that he had inserted the agreed-upon medical device.

“Sabit also falsified his operative reports to make the patients think he had put the spinal devices in place.”

Go here for more on the sickening case.

The message to you, dear readers, please, please carefully check out your doctors.  We have American bad docs, but honestly based on cases I’ve been reading about (so many in Michigan!) a lot of foreign-born docs are not here to help you get well.

Endnote: I encourage those of you interested in the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program to go over to Refugee Resettlement Watch every few days, because a lot is going on following the President’s reform initiative launched in September.

They Wanted Brazilian Butt Tucks, but Ended up Dead or Deformed

Editor:  As you know I have been deep in the weeds of the President’s offer to local elected officials and state governors to determine if they want to receive refugees later in 2020.   It is frankly a bureaucratic morass and I needed a break from it so I had a look at some ‘frauds and crooks’ news this morning.

Please visit Refugee Resettlement Watch because there are new posts there every day like this one: Appomattox County, Virginia says no thanks to refugees, likely first in the nation county to say NO!

 

For a change, this is really disturbing news for a whole host of reasons.

Before getting to the story that you may have seen because it was fairly widely reported, learn what a Brazilian butt lift entails. See here.

I sure hope our tax dollars in no way support this foolish (deadly!) medical procedure.

From the UK Daily Mail (where photos are always the best):

Botched cut-rate operations at plastic surgery clinics operated by FELONS in Florida cost 13 women their lives – but state law can do nothing to close down the lethal businesses

At least 13 women have died after undergoing plastic surgery at Florida clinics founded by felons, a new investigation reveals.

They came for discounted butt lifts and tummy tucks from surgeons in world-renowned South Beach, Florida.

But these women were left with complications that cost them their lives, after operations that were performed by surgeons hired by for felons, USA Today’s investigation revealed.

Dr Osakatukei Omulepu had failed his board exams multiple times, and had never been board certified in plastic surgery, says the Daily Mail.

It dug into the sordid histories of four clinics founded by people had been convicted of crimes – mostly financial ones – but were allowed to run cosmetic surgery shops that crowded patients in and cut corners to make more money more quickly.

The clinics, where women died of fat embolisms, deadly mixtures of sedatives and puncture wounds to organs, were cited for these deaths and for dirty operating rooms.

Yet they were never shut down. Blindspots in regulatory oversight and hamstrung lawmakers allowed these facilities to continue operating despite the littany of problems – in one case, even while the owner was waiting for his prison sentence to start.

[….]

Juan Hernandes was convicted in a $1.2 million Medicare billing fraud case while running Spectrum Aesthetics

Juan Hernandes co-founded Spectrum Aesthetics in 2012. He and his business partner, Evelyn Parrado were charged with fraudulently billing $1.2 million to Medicare for drugs from the pharmacy they ran together.

Under the impression that Spectrum was staffed and run by board certified surgeons, the court allowed Hernandes to continue to operate the clinic.

He employed and oversaw the physicians there, including Dr Osakatukei Omulepu, who had failed his board exams multiple times, and never been board certified in plastic surgery.

Yet the unqualified surgeon performed Brazilian butt lifts, the most dangerous cosmetic operation.

During two such operations, he punctured or stabbed organs including the liver and small intestine.

A surgical sponge was left inside Porche Campbell, 40, when she had a procedure there.

Nicola Mason, 46, came to Spectrum from Maryland for a Brazilian butt lift.

But, a complaint she filed against Dr Omulepu claims he performed a tummy tuck – the wrong surgery – on her, instead.

And the unwanted tummy tuck she got left Mason with large scars on the side of her abdomen.

Dr Omulepu’s records claim that he determined that Mason wasn’t a good candidate for butt lift, according to USA TODAY, and that the two instead agreed upon her tummy tuck.

Last year, Adianet Galvan visited New Life Plastic Surgery for the same risky procedure: a Brazilian butt lift.

She suffered the same fate countless others have under the knife. Galvan died of a fat embolism, according to USA Today’s analysis of her autopsy records.

‘I never thought my daughter would come to this country and die at the age of 30,’ her mother, Arelys Gonzalez told USA Today.  [Were these women in the country legally?—ed]

Continue reading here.

You will notice that most of those involved with the fraudulent surgical centers appear to be ‘new Americans.’