HOUSTON - A local physician has admitted to participating
in a conspiracy involving medical tests, procedures and office visits that were
not medically necessary, not properly provided or both, announced U.S. Attorney
Ryan K. Patrick.
Rezik Saqer, 64, a licensed anesthesiologist of Houston,
entered his guilty plea before Magistrate Judge Christina Bryan this morning.
At the hearing, Saqer admitted he submitted fraudulent
claims to Medicare and other private insurance companies for financial gain.
From around January 2010 through September 2015, Saqer
and his co-conspirators often overbooked patient appointments to maximize
billings. Unlicensed co-conspirators often conducted the follow-up appointments
which frequently lasted less than the typical face-to-face time that is
require. These unlicensed co-conspirators were unqualified to perform medical
care in the United States. However, Saqer frequently billed and caused the
billing of higher reimbursement codes.
Saqer billed, or caused to be billed, millions of dollars
for medical tests, procedures and office visits that were not medically
necessary, not properly provided or both.
Sentencing has been set for Oct. 22, 2018, before Chief
U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal. At that time, Saqer faces up to 10 years
in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI and IRS -
Criminal Investigtion conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tina
Ansari and Department of Justice trial attorneys Andrew Pennebaker and Devon
Helfmeyer are prosecuting the case.