Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada was arrested on Monday and charged with leading a $240 million health care fraud and money laundering scheme. The Indictment charges one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, five counts of health care fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Dr. Zamora-Quezada is a rheumatology specialist practicing in the South Texas area. The doctor operates various clinics focused on arthritis and osteoporosis.
The Indictment alleges that Dr. Zamora-Quezada engaged in a wide ranging scheme starting in 2000. The scheme allegedly involved falsely diagnosing patients with a degenerative diseased and giving patients unneeded treatments. The Indictment alleges, among other things, that Dr. Zamora-Quezada would falsely diagnosis patients with rheumatoid arthritis and then administer chemotherapy and other toxic medications. The Indictment also alleges that the doctor and co-conspirators conducted and billed for a battery of fraudulent and repetitive procedures.
The Government claims that Dr. Zamora-Quezada tried to hide his scheme by dismissing patients that questioned his practices and by the creation of fake medical records.
The Government filed a motion seeking pretrial detention. The motion requested pretrial detention based on Dr. Zamora-Quezada’s access to wealth, his private jet, his ties to Mexico, and his history of intimidating witnesses. The motion describes the evidence against Dr. Zamora-Quezada, which includes patients that will testify against him and other doctors in the community that will say Dr. Zamora-Quezada was known for his practice of falsely diagnosing patients.
The detention hearing was held today. The court granted the Government’s motion for pretrial detention and remanded the doctor to the custody of the U.S. Marshals. The final pretrial conference in the case is set for July 2, 2018. The court further noted that it would announce the scheduled trial date soon.
Dr. Zamora-Quezada’s detention complicates trial preparation for the defense. In health care fraud cases, it is imperative for doctor defendants to assist in reviewing patient records and participating in the creation of a defense.