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REGIONAL: North Texans charged with health care fraud violations

by MyParisTexas
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SHERMAN, Texas – Three North Texas residents have been indicted on health care fraud violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.

Demetrius Cervantes, 44, of McKinney, Texas, Amanda Lowry, 39, of Sherman, Texas, and Lydia Henslee, 27, of Denison, Texas, were named in a federal indictment returned by a grand jury on Sep. 11, 2019. The defendants were each charged with conspiracy to obtain information from a protected computer and conspiracy to unlawfully possess and use a means of identification

Cervantes, Lowry, and Henslee were indicted by a federal grand jury on Sep. 11, 2019. If convicted, they each face up to 15 years in federal prison.

The indictment was announced today during a press conference held in Dallas with Texas U.S. Attorneys and the Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. A total of 58 individuals across all four federal districts in Texas were charged for their alleged involvement in Medicare fraud schemes and networks of “pill mill” clinics resulting in $66 million in loss and 6.2 million pills. Of those charged, 16 were doctors or medical professionals, and 20 were charged for their role in diverting opioids.

According to the indictment, the defendants are alleged to have breached a health care provider’s electronic health record (EHR) system in order to steal protected health information and personally identifiable information belonging to patients of the provider. The information that was stolen from the provider was “repackaged” in the form of false and fraudulent physician orders and sold to durable medical equipment (DME) providers and contractors. Within approximately eight months, the defendants obtained more the $1.4 million in proceeds from the sale of the stolen information. The proceeds of the offenses were traced, and the following forfeitable assets were identified: a 2019 Land Rover Range Rover SC; a 2019 Dodge Durango; a 2018 Polaris RZR XP4 1000 EPS; a 2019 Can-Am Outlander 450; a 2019 Sea-Doo RXT-X 300 W; a 2019 Sea-Doo RXT-X 300 W; and a 2019 Karavan Sea-Doo Move.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld and L. Frank Coan, Jr.

It is important to note that a complaint, arrest, or indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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