Another doctor accused of healthcare fraud scheme

Another doctor is being accused of taking part of an alleged scheme with Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada, the rheumatologist who in May was indicted on charges of healthcare fraud.

Dr. Fulgencio Salinas, also a rheumatologist, is accused of working with Zamora-Quezada to defraud patients by prescribing unnecessary medication and treatment, according to a petition filed in Cameron County in October.

The petition was filed on behalf of Irma Martinez who was allegedly misdiagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis by the two doctors, according to her attorney Bobby Garcia.

“She was under the care of both Dr. Quezada and Dr. Salinas and she was prescribed with Methotrexate and also chemotherapy for a period of over 10 years,” Garcia said, adding that an independent rheumatologist later told her she didn’t have rheumatoid arthritis.

“She never had the medical condition and it’s the same thing that has been alleged in all these other cases,” he said of other patients who have come forward.

When reached by phone Friday, Salinas declined to comment.

Salinas is listed as a physician at the Center for Arthritis and Osteoporosis in Edinburg, the medical practice owned by Zamora-Quezada.

Along with a practice in San Antonio, Zamora-Quezada also had a now-shuttered office in Brownsville where the two doctors treated Martinez, according to Garcia.

Zamora-Quezada was arrested by federal authorities in May on allegations that he defrauded health insurers by misdiagnosing patients and prescribing them with unnecessary medications and treatments.

In July, his wife, Meisy Zamora, was also arrested and charged with participating in the scheme.

Both remain in custody pending trial after a federal judge denied them bond.

Two employees of the medical practice were also arrested as part of that indictment — one for allegedly tampering with evidence and the other for assisting the couple in laundering money made from the scheme to Mexico to conceal the source of the funds. Those two additional charges were also brought against the doctor and his wife.

Salinas has not been publicly named in the federal indictment.

While Garcia said they intend to file a lawsuit in state district court against the Salinas and Zamora-Quezada, the purpose of the petition filed in Cameron County was to gather information on the operation and management of the “Quezada enterprise.”

The information they’re trying to collect includes that of the distributors and pharmaceutical companies they were working with and the reps from those companies.

“Right now we are searching for the names of all of the responsible people and entities because Dr. Quezada did not act alone.”

bereniceg@themonitor.com