Valley Man Sentenced for Medicare Fraud Scheme

Local News
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A former account representative for a toxicology testing company has been ordered to prison in connection with a scheme to defraud Medicare. 47-year-old Ivar Cantu of Palmview, pleaded guilty Dec. 19, 2017, to conspiring to commit health care fraud.

U.S. District Judge Alvarez imposed a 56-month sentence for Cantu, to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

Cantu fraudulently set up an account between a medical clinic where a co-conspirator was employed as a laboratory technician and the toxicology testing company for whom Cantu was an account representative. During the latter half of 2015, Cantu and his co-conspirators misappropriated patient identities and urine specimens from the medical clinic. They then sent them to the toxicology testing company without consent of the patient or doctor in order to receive commissions and collection fees from the testing company. In order to carry out the scheme, Cantu and his co-conspirators forged patient signatures, falsified medical records and created fictitious documents.

As a result of the scheme, Medicare was billed $836,788 between May 2015 and December 2015.

Cantu was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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