Trial set for September in healthcare fraud case

McALLEN — The trial for Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada, the rheumatologist who was indicted on charges of healthcare fraud, has been set for September.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa scheduled the trial during a status hearing Friday, in which the doctor’s wife, Meisy Zamora, and two employees of their clinic are also charged.

The four are accused of participating in a scheme to defraud health insurers by misdiagnosing and over-treating patients.

The money made from the scheme, according to the government, was funneled to bank accounts in Mexico and used for purchases in order to conceal their source.

Both Zamora-Quezada and Zamora were denied bond when they were arrested last year and, in fact, Friday marked a year that Zamora had been in custody.

Her defense attorney, Christopher Sully, once again filed a motion in May requesting her release from jail which, on Friday, Judge Hinojosa agreed to refer to a magistrate judge for reconsideration.

A bond hearing for Zamora was set for July 30 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Juan F. Alanis.

The issue of the couple’s seized funds was also revisited during Friday’s hearing, which their attorneys said their clients need in order to pay attorney’s fees.

They argue that those funds, which were seized by the federal government upon their arrests last year, are not all tied to the alleged healthcare fraud scheme and that some of those funds even pre-date those alleged acts.

However, the attorneys representing the government noted that the attorneys have not filed financial affidavits for their clients to prove they don’t have other available funds.

Hinojosa agreed that those financial statements needed to be filed in order to determine whether or not the couple had a need for those funds, which he advised the attorneys to file as soon as possible.

While Zamora’s request to be released from custody will be reconsidered next week, Hinojosa denied a similar request for her husband who has been in custody since his arrest in May 2018.

However, the judge made note of how long both had been in custody.

“We’re getting to the point where due process becomes an issue,” Hinojosa said.

The trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 18 which attorneys for the government estimated would last about three weeks.