3 RGV Residents Plead Guilty in Illegal Kickback Operation
MCALLEN – Three Rio Grande Valley residents were convicted for their roles in receiving illegal kickback payments in exchange for the referral of patients.
Brenda De La Cruz, 39, of Mission entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to receive illegal kickbacks.
At plea hearings on Tuesday, Sonia Garcia, 51, of McAllen and Luis Manuel Garza, 39, of Brownsville, also pleaded guilty to the same offense.
All were previously charged in separate criminal informations on April 10 following an operation conducted by the RGV health care fraud task force targeting Medicare fraud and the payment of illegal kickbacks.
At their respective hearings, each admitted they engaged in conspiracies to refer Medicare beneficiaries at a home health agency in exchange for illegal kickback payments.
Sentencing for both Garcia and Garza was set for July 20, 2017. De La Cruz will be sentenced July 11, 2017. At those times, all three face a maximum punishment of five years in federal prison.
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