McALLEN–An Upper Valley owner of a health care resource center was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to defraud and receiving kickback payments, federal prosecutors announced.
Alicia Vasquez, of San Juan, the owner of David’s Star Loving Vision Resource Center (DSLV), was charged in a three-count indictment returned under seal on Nov. 1. The indictment was unsealed Friday morning, following the arrest of Vasquez.
According to allegations in the indictment, from September 2009 through April 2011, Vasquez solicited numerous Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries through DSLV for the purpose of referring them to a variety of health care providers in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties including durable medical equipment (DME) companies, physicians and home healthcare agencies.
Over time, prosecutors said Vasquez referred the Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to these providers in exchange for a total of at least $70,000 in payments in violation of the anti-kickback statute.In turn, the providers billed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Medicare and Medicaid programs as a result of the allegedly illegal referrals.
The indictment further charges that Vasquez, and the providers to which she referred beneficiaries, undertook a variety of measures to conceal Vasquez’s involvement with respect to the referrals. For example, the indictment alleges one owner of a DME company paid kickbacks to Vasquez through a third-party – referred in the indictment as “Person A.” The kickbacks were allegedly deposited into Person A’s bank account, from where the money was later diverted to Vasquez.
The ongoing investigation in this case is being conducted