A corporate executive has been ordered to prison after his conviction related to falsely telling thousands of patients with long-term incurable diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, they had less than six months to live and subsequently enrolling them in hospice programs.
A federal jury in McAllen convicted Rodney Mesquias, 48, of San Antonio. The one-month trial in November 2019 was one of the first criminal hospice fraud prosecutions the Department of Justice has presented to a federal jury.
U.S. District Court Judge Rolando Olvera on Wednesday ordered Mesquias to serve a total of 240 months in federal prison and to pay $120 million in restitution.
“Financial healthcare fraud is abhorrent enough, but to fraudulently diagnose patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s is the pinnacle of medical cruelness to both the patient and their family,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas in a news release. “They falsely gave patients life-ending diagnosis and they will pay the price with years behinds bars.”