The news is out: [The owner of a Texas hospice chain orchestrated a $150 million scheme where he told thousands of patients they had fewer than six months to live in order to enroll them in hospice programs, the US Department of Justice said on Wednesday.
Officials announced that Rodney Mesquias, 48, will serve 20 years in federal prison and must pay $120 million in restitution after being convicted for conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and six separate counts of healthcare fraud.
Mesquias was the owner and operator of Merida Group, a large healthcare company with dozens of locations in Texas. He operated his fraud scheme from 2009 to 2018.
“Mesquias funded his lavish lifestyle by exploiting patients with long-term, incurable diseases by enrolling them in expensive but unnecessary hospice services,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This significant sentence represents the department’s continued commitment to pursue those who orchestrate and commit healthcare fraud schemes.”]
It was either this scheme or a PPE loan to make money.