Texas Hospice Owner Sentenced to Prison

Rodney Mesquias, CEO of the Merida Group, defrauded several patients by telling them they had less than six months to live and enrolled them in hospice programs. Patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia were included. A federal jury in McAllen sentenced him to 20 years in prison and ordered him to pay $120 million in restitution.

Mr. Mesquias was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to obstruct justice, six counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks. According to the Department of Justice, he “…funded his lavish lifestyle by exploiting patients with long-term, incurable diseases by enrolling them in expensive but unnecessary hospice services.” It is alleged Mr. Mesquias paid kickbacks to physicians and enrolled patients in hospice care, which prevented them from accessing curative care. The scheme involved $150 million in false claims between 2009 and 2018. Henry McInnis, the CEO of Merida Group and one of Mr. Mesquias’ co-conspirators, was convicted of the same charges as Mr. Mesquias, with the exception of paying and receiving kickbacks. Two other co-conspirators are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty.

When someone is injured or dies due to a health care provider’s negligence, financial recovery may be available. Such recovery is particularly important when permanent, life changing injuries are incurred. It is important to contact someone who understands the intricacies of the party’s right to recover.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-594-4884. Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue such claims.