Feds: Harlingen men charged in $150 million health care fraud

Two Harlingen men are among several charged with a $150 million Medicare fraud and money laundering scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Rodney Mesquias, 47, of San Antonio; Henry McInnis, 47, of Harlingen, Jose Garza, 40, of Harlingen; and Franciso Pena, 82, of Laredo, were charged in an 11-count indictment filed in the Southern District of Texas.

They were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Mesquias and McInnis were also charged with six counts of health care fraud, and Garza and Pena were each charged with one count of health care fraud.

Pena was also charged with one count of false statements and one count of obstruction of a health care investigation. Mesquias and McInnis were each charged with one count of obstruction of justice.

The indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday, accuses the men of defrauding Medicare for $150 million by billing for fake hospice and home health services. They allegedly paid kickbacks and bribes to medical directors, including Pena, in exchange for certifying that patients qualified for services when, in fact, they did not, and for referring patients.

They’re also accused of providing hospice services to patients for several years in order to receive more money from Medicare.

The indictment says Mesquias and McInnis used the funds to buy a Porsche, expensive jewelry, clothes from Louis Vuitton, exclusive real estate and season tickets for premium seating to see the San Antonio Spurs.