Valley physician assistant arrested, accused of practicing medicine without a license

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A 49-year-old Brownsville man is facing multiple charges of identity theft and health care fraud after being accused of practicing medicine without a license for over a year, the United States Attorney's Office announced Tuesday. 

Fernando Mendez was arrested Sunday and remains in custody without bond.

According to a news release, Mendez was a physician assistant at CCI Therapy Counseling Centers International when his license was suspended by the Texas Medical Board on July 2020 after he was deemed a "continuing threat to public welfare."

Mendez was then prohibited from practicing medicine, the release stated.

"However, Mendez allegedly continued to evaluate and treat patients at mental health clinics in Brownsville, Harlingen and Pharr and billed Medicaid for services he rendered during his suspension," the release stated.

The indictment alleges Mendez attempted to conceal his continued practice of medicine by using identities of other physicians and medical personnel, and created records while the physicians were traveling outside the United States, according to the release.

Mendez is also accused of submitting false statements to the Texas Medical Board in an effort to conceal his improper practice of medicine. 

Mendez is charged with seven counts of health care fraud and four charges of aggravated identity theft charges.

If convicted of the more serious charge of health care fraud, Mendez faces 10 years in federal prison for each count.

All counts also carry a possible fine of up to $250,000.


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