Convicted doctor requesting sentencing date

Nearly three months after a judge denied a new trial and eight months after he was convicted on healthcare fraud charges, Dr. Jorge Zamora Quezada, is requesting that a date be set for his sentencing.

Zamora Quezada, through his attorneys, filed a motion last week requesting a sentencing hearing but also, prior to that, a hearing to calculate “loss” — or the amount of money lost to the healthcare fraud — and, if necessary, a hearing on forfeiture.

For the hearing on loss calculation, the doctor’s attorneys stated they might call witnesses and asked that they be allowed to appear via video conference call. They also said the attorneys for the U.S. government indicated they would call witnesses as well.

“The government and defendant agree that information should be exchanged prior to the hearing but disagree as to what information should be provided,” the attorneys stated in the motion.

The attorneys for the government are requesting that the judge order both parties to file simultaneous briefs on the issue of loss two weeks prior to the hearing, according to Zamora Quezada’s attorneys, and want to exchange exhibits and witness lists one week before the loss hearing.

However, his attorneys do not think briefs should be filed before the hearing and ask that the judge order the government attorneys to provide exhibits and a witness list two weeks before the hearing while ordering them, the defense, to provide the same things a week before the hearing.

Following the hearing on loss, if the government and the defense attorneys aren’t able to reach an agreement on how much the doctor should forfeit to the government and how much he should pay in restitution, his attorneys ask that a forfeiture hearing be scheduled to resolve that.

Thirdly, the attorneys request a sentencing hearing to resolve the remaining issues and during which several victims are expected to speak in accordance with the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

In January, a jury convicted Zamora Quezada, an Edinburg-based rheumatologist, on one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, seven counts of healthcare fraud, and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

His conviction followed a month-long trial during which the government presented evidence alleging he intentionally misdiagnosed and over-treated patients for profit.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa had initially scheduled the sentencing for the end of March but it has been indefinitely delayed.

A hearing on the motion for a sentencing schedule is set for Thursday afternoon.

bereniceg@themonitor.com