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McAllen doctor, medical assistant convicted in multimillion dollar adult daycare fraud scheme

1 month 1 week 3 days ago Saturday, March 02 2024 Mar 2, 2024 March 02, 2024 11:36 PM March 02, 2024 in News - Local

A McAllen doctor his employee were found guilty of receiving illegal kickbacks after ordering unnecessary lab tests and prescriptions, according to a news release.

Dr. Osama Nahas, 69, and Isabel Pruneda, 53, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, healthcare fraud and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute following a two-week trial, according to a Friday news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Pruneda was also convicted on a charge of aggravated identity theft.

As the owner and physician at Crosspoint Medical Clinic in Edinburg, Nahas would travel to adult day care centers around the Rio Grande Valley and order unnecessary lab tests and prescriptions on behalf of elderly and vulnerable clients who were spending time there, the release stated.

Pruneda, a medical assistant at Crosspoint, assisted Nahas by helping forge patient signatures on consent forms. According to the release, Pruneda would also misappropriate expensive patient medications such as pain creams. She’d then strip patient information off and remove creams from their boxes so that she could hand them out as “goodie bags” to incentivize patients to be tested. 

The scheme happened from January 2016 to December 2017. Evidence presented during the trial revealed that both individuals received “tens of thousands of dollars in kickbacks,” while the scheme was underway.

A search warrant was conducted at the medical center in June 2018, leading to the discovery of thousands of stolen medications, the release stated.

“Nahas and Pruneda also bribed their way into the adult daycare facilities by offering kickbacks to the adult daycare owners disguised as ‘rent’ payments,” the release stated.

Sentencing for both individuals was set for Thursday, May 16.

Pruneda was taken into custody, while Nahas was allowed to remain on bond pending a March 8 detention hearing.

Both face up to 10 years in federal prison for the more serious charge of healthcare fraud conspiracy, and a fine of up to $250,000 each. 

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