Health care fraud crackdown across Texas - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Health care fraud crackdown across Texas

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GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas -- Nearly 60 people are facing federal charges in Texas for handing out too many opioids and over-billing the government for health care.

Two women from Texoma are among the 58 accused.

The Department of Justice says this bust includes the illegal distribution of more than six million pills.

The feds accuse 39-year-old Amanda Lowry of Sherman and 27-year-old Lydia Henslee of Denison of accessing a health care provider's electronic record system in order to steal patient information. A third person, 44-year-old Demetrius Cervantes of McKinney, was charged along with the Grayson County women.

Each faces a prison term of up to 15 years if convicted.

In all, federal prosecutors say 58 people across Texas have been charged with assorted health care fraud that's been blamed for $66 million in losses and unlawful distribution of opioids. Sixteen medical professionals are facing charges, including six doctors and seven pharmacists.

The investigation also involves alleged Medicare and Medicaid fraud, pill mill clinics, and targeting our military's health care program. 

"The defendants also include two doctors who were charged with separately scheming to defraud Tricare, a health care program for members and veterans veterans of the armed forces and their families," said U.S. Attorney John Bash at a news conference in Dallas. "These two doctors allegedly sought, through compounding pharmacies in Fort Worth, to enrich themselves at the expense of those who lay their lives on the line and have laid their lives on the line for our country."

Authorities say the counts are related to fraud, conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, and illegal distribution of more than 6 million pills.

Prosecutors said the charges are part of a statewide coordinated health care enforcement operation similar to a Houston-area drug trafficking network sweep about three weeks ago.

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