Flickr Creative Commons / Brian Turner
A judge this week sentenced
San Antonio businessman Rafael Enrique Rodriguez to seven years in federal prison for his role in what the U.S. Department of Justice called a "multi-million-dollar health care fraud scheme."
Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra also ordered Rodriguez, 49, to pay more than $6 million in restitution and be placed on supervised release for three years after finishing the prison term.
Rodriguez was accused of ripping off the Federal Employees Compensation Act, Office of Workers Compensation Program, a program that provides worker’s comp services to federal employees. He billed the feds more than $7.5 million and was paid in excess of $6 million for fraudulently delivered services, according to the complaint.
Justice Department officials say Rodriguez billed the program for physical therapy and other treatments using codes indicating they were provided by a qualified professional. In reality, they'd been carried out by an unlicensed technician.
Rodriguez also used a licensed physical therapist's identity without permission so he could gain access to to the program, the department alleges.
"The sentence imposed in this case reflects our commitment to stamping out healthcare fraud," U.S. Attorney John Bash said. "This is not just a law-and-order issue. It’s also about making sure that Texans in need of medical treatment or other healthcare services can be confident that they are being told the truth about their care."
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