Ex-doctor who admitted to bribes in healthcare fraud scheme sentenced

An ex-doctor accused of taking bribes in exchange for patient referrals was sentenced to federal prison Thursday, records show.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Eduardo Carrillo to a 24-month sentence in connection with charges he solicited, along with his assistant, 52-year-old Martha Uribe Medrano, and obtained kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals.

Carrillo, of McAllen, pleaded guilty Nov. 20, 2015, to one count of fraud with identification documents, and two counts of healthcare fraud, and was ordered to pay nearly $26,000 in restitution as part of his punishment.

Federal prosecutors allege Carrillo concocted the scheme and executed it on at least 12 occasions, in December 2011 through October 2012, and in June 2015, to the end of July 2015, the indictment stated.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, at the time of plea, Carrillo, a licensed physician specializing in family medicine at the time, admitted he caused others to bill Medicare for patients who were dead.

Carrillo submitted fraudulent documentation to a billing company that resulted in the company filing the claims with Medicare for reimbursement of physician services. Records law enforcement obtained proved the patients were deceased at the time he alleged to have provided services to the patients.

In August 2015, a 12-count superseding indictment was filed alleging Carrillo attempted to cause others to bill Medicare for 34 patients who were actually deceased on the dates Carrillo claimed to have provided services to them. Carrillo allegedly submitted fraudulent documentation to a billing company so that the company would file claims with Medicare for reimbursement of physician services.

Carrillo, who ran a doctor’s office in Alton before his indictment, also admitted to engaging in a scheme with his co-conspirator and assistant, Uribe of Edinburg, to solicit and obtain illegal kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals. Carrillo and Uribe solicited and obtained cash in exchange for referrals of Medicare beneficiaries.

According to public records, Carrillo’s license expired on Aug. 31, 2016.

The doctor admitted he used the Medicare number and personal information of a patient in the exchange. Uribe pleaded guilty to an illegal remunerations charge in November 2015 and was sentenced to a three-year probation term in May 2017 for her role in the scheme. She did not serve prison time.

The 46-year-old doctor, who was permitted to remain on a $50,000 bond, is set to voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility at a date to be determined in the near future.

Upon completion of his prison term, Carrillo will also be required to serve three years of supervised release.