Sentencing delayed in medical equipment fraud case

Woman faces up to 10 years in prison

McALLEN — The owner of a durable medical equipment company accused of scamming more than $4 million in Medicaid funds will not be sentenced for another two months, court records show.

Anna Ramirez-Ambriz was scheduled to be sentenced earlier this week, but notes show the court has agreed to reschedule the hearing for late April.

The 57-year-old woman, who owned Compassionate Medical Supply in Edinburg, had her hearing moved after her attorney, Robert Steindel, filed the motion at the end of January.

It will be the seventh such order resetting the sentencing for the woman since March 2017, when she entered a guilty plea.

During a hearing on March 31, 2017, Ramirez-Ambriz agreed to plead true to one count of healthcare fraud, court records show, in exchange for the dismissal of two document fraud charges.

In the January 2017 indictment filed against her, government prosecutors alleged Ramirez-Ambriz defrauded the state’s Medicaid program of millions over the course of more than six years by submitting false claims to Texas Medicaid, court records show.

An unsealed indictment indicated Ramirez-Ambriz submitted or caused others to submit $4,536,152.26 in false or fraudulent claims to Texas Medicaid. This occurred sometime between Jan. 5, 2007 and Nov. 19, 2013, “for durable equipment which was not provided or not properly provided to Texas Medicaid recipients and/or was not authorized by a physician,” according to the indictment.

Records also show that Ramirez-Ambriz and Compassionate Medical Supply “billed for more incontinence supplies,” such as pull-ons, youth diapers and disposable underpads, than what was purchased from distributors.

“As a result of her scheme, Medicaid suffered a loss of $3,143,149.41,” a release from the Southern District of Texas U.S. Attorney’s Office states.

In the end, Ramirez-Ambriz will be expected to pay back a monetary judgment of about $3.1 million as part of her plea deal with prosecutors, records show.

According to the release, the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services‐Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation.

The McAllen woman could face up to 10 years in prison in connection with the charges.