Austin Doctor Charged with Defrauding Medicare of $2 Million in Less Than Two Months
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 25, 2013|
HOUSTON—Dr. Dennis B. Barson, Jr., 40, and his medical clinic administrator, Dario Juarez, 53, have been charged in a 20-count indictment alleging a conspiracy to defraud Medicare of $2.1 million in less than two months, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
The indictment, returned under seal on June 19, 2013, alleges the fraudulent billing was for rectal sensation tests and electromyogram (EMG) studies of the anal or urethral sphincter which were never performed. The indictment also charges Barson, of Austin, and Juarez, of Beeville, with health care fraud for filing false claims with Medicare for medical procedures which were never performed.
Barson was arrested this morning, at which time the indictment was unsealed. He is expected to make his initial appearance today before a U.S. magistrate judge in Austin. Juarez is already in custody serving time for practicing medicine without a license.
According to the allegations in the indictment, Barson was the only practicing doctor at a medical clinic located at 8470 Gulf Freeway in Houston. It was Juarez, however, who allegedly represented himself either to be a doctor or a physician’s assistant and was the one who actually saw patients, according to the indictment. It is alleged that Barson and Juarez caused Medicare to be billed for procedures on 429 patients in just two months. Barson and Juarez also allegedly billed Medicare for seeing more than 100 patients on 13 different days, including a high of 156 patients on July 13, 2009.
Each of the 19 health care fraud counts and the conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine, upon conviction.
The criminal charges are the result of a joint investigation conducted by agents of the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Office. This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Al Balboni and Special Assistant United States Attorney Adrienne Frazior.
An indictment is an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.