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Two Valley business operators charged with billing $14 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare

Two Valley business operators charged with billing $14 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare
9 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Wednesday, August 30 2023 Aug 30, 2023 August 30, 2023 3:56 PM August 30, 2023 in News - Local

A married couple from Harlingen who operate a durable medical equipment company have been charged with defrauding Medicare.

Maria Luisa Yzaguirre and her husband Jeremiah Yzaguirre are charged with 16 counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering, according to a news release.

Maria was arrested on Wednesday and is scheduled to make her initial court appearance on August 31. Jeremiah was arrested on August 22, according to the release.

The charges allege that between 2019 and 2023, both suspects submitted over $14 million in claims to Medicare for power wheelchairs, power scooters, parts and repairs for 37 individuals, according to the release.

The suspects are also accused of billing Medicare more than $600,000 for parts and repairs for one beneficiary and falsely claimed to have replaced expensive parts on numerous occasions, according to the release.

The indictment states that in one instance they billed Medicare approximately $736,072 in parts and repairs for one patient; submitting repair claims 132 times for the expandable controller, 107 times for the motor-gearbox and 84 times for the battery. The patient was bed bound and did not have access to the power wheelchair when the repairs were allegedly conducted, according to the release.

The indictment alleges they used proceeds of the fraud scheme to purchase millions of dollars in real estate, cryptocurrency, stock, a luxury sports car and expensive movie memorabilia, according to the release.

If convicted, Maria and Jeremiah face up to 10 years in prison for health care fraud and money laundering and a mandatory two years for each count of aggravated identity theft, according to the release.

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