Via plea deal, four counts to be dismissed against Mission doctor

MISSION — A local doctor here appeared in federal court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to solicit or receive illegal remunerations, this as part of a plea deal in which four other counts were dropped in the case.

In January, a grand jury in McAllen returned a sealed indictment against Dr. Jose de Jesus Martinez, 51, of Palmhurst, alleging he solicited and obtained cash in exchange for referrals of Medicare beneficiaries to prospective home health agencies. The indictment was unsealed after his Jan. 20 arrest.

Martinez was charged then with one count of conspiracy to solicit or receive illegal remunerations, three counts of illegal remunerations and one count of obstruction of criminal investigations of health care offenses.

As part of the plea deal, Martinez agreed to plea guilty to one count of conspiracy to solicit or receive illegal remunerations while the remaining counts against him will be dismissed at the time of sentencing.

The agreement also includes the government’s recommendations that the offense decreases by two levels “if the defendant clearly demonstrates acceptance of responsibility;” and “that the loss amount be calculated based upon the amount of illegal remunerations paid by the defendant within the course of the conspiracy alleged in count one of the indictment.”

This story was updated to correct the date of arrest for Dr. Jose de Jesus Martinez, which was actually Jan. 20, 2017, and to reflect in the story and headline that four counts in the case against him have been dropped as part of a plea deal reached this month.