Houston-area physician and anesthesiologist sentenced to 84 months in prison for role in health care benefit scheme

 

Date: October 9, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

A Houston-area physician and anesthesiologist at two registered pain clinics, Texas Pain Solutions and Integra Medical Clinic, was sentenced today to seven years in prison for his role in fraudulently billing health care programs for at least $5 million dollars in medical tests and procedures, and for the role his fraud played in multiple patient deaths.

Rezik Saqer of Houston, Texas, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas. Chief Judge Rosenthal also ordered the defendant to pay $5 million in restitution. Saqer pleaded guilty on July 3, 2019, to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

According to the evidence presented at sentencing, Saqer's health care fraud scheme involved luring vulnerable patients to his clinics by prescribing powerful opioid narcotics, and then requiring the patients to submit to unnecessary and dangerous procedures and tests, which were often performed by Saqer's unlicensed staff and fraudulently billed to health care providers. Saqer's scheme contributed to multiple overdose deaths, as well as the death of a young family in an auto accident involving one of Saqer's patients, according to the evidence.

According to the court's judgment, Saqer was responsible for fraudulently billing health care providers for at least $14,665,357.54.

This case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation, Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, DEA, FBI, Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, Conroe Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, and the Texas Department of Insurance. Trial Attorneys Drew Pennebaker and Devon Helfmeyer of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tina Ansari of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.