Healthcare fraud trial reset again

McALLEN — The trial for Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada and his co-defendants was pushed back again on Thursday until after Thanksgiving to Dec. 4.

Attorneys for the defendants were informed of the new date when they met with U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa in chambers Thursday afternoon during what was expected to be the last hearing before jury selection and trial, which was previously set for Monday.

Zamora-Quezada, along with his wife, Meisy Zamora, and two of their employees — Felix Ramos and Estella Santos Natera — are accused of participating in a scheme that involved defrauding health insurers by misdiagnosing and over-treating patients.

All four pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Along with the charges of healthcare fraud, Zamora-Quezada and Zamora are facing charges of money laundering and tampering with witnesses.

Zamora is said to have supervised employees and oversaw operations at Zamora-Quezada’s medical practice, according to the superseding indictment, and is accused of directing staff to increase the number of patient office visits and the number of medical procedures performed on patients in order to generate profits.

The government alleges that the doctor and his wife, along with one Santos Natera, created false records in response to a grand jury subpoena and that the couple along with Ramos made financial transactions with the proceeds from the scheme to, at least in part, conceal the source of the funds, according to the superseding indictment.

Zamora-Quezada has been held without bond since his arrest in May 2018 while Zamora, who was arrested in July 2018, was only just released on bond two weeks ago.

Santos Natera and Ramos were allowed to remain out on bond soon immediately after their arrests in August 2018.

The trial is expected to last about three to four weeks.