ROCKWALL (CBSDFW.COM) - A doctor from Rockwall has been arrested and charged in what is being called the largest health care fraud case in U.S. history, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. The FBI arrested Dr. Jacques Roy and six others. He has been accused of cheating Medicare and Medicaid out of nearly $380 million between January 2006 and November 2001.
Top officials with the U.S. Justice Department flew into Dallas on Tuesday afternoon to make the announcement, along with Sarah Saldana, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and Robert Casey, the special agent in charge of the Dallas FBI. "Dr. Roy's company is alleged to have certified more Medicare beneficiaries for home health services, and had more beneficiaries under its care than any other medical practice in the country," said U.S. Attorney General James Cole.
Only CBS 11 News cameras were there as federal agents first raided Roy's lakefront home last June. Inside Roy's house, agents said that they found bank accounts under a different name and a guide on how to hide assets and vanish without a trace. Prosecutors said that Roy continued signing up patients and billing Medicare and Medicaid under a different name, even after the raid.
The FBI also raided Charry Home Care Services in Dallas last June. Prosecutors said that Roy worked with that facility and some other home health agencies over five years to recruit 11,000 Medicare patients -- including some at the Bridge Homeless Shelter in Dallas.
According to prosecutors, Roy ran a boiler room out of his DeSoto office, where his employees placed his signature on approvals for home health services without him first reviewing the cases. "These recruiters were bringing patients to Dr. Roy and he took it from there, selling his signature," said Saldana.
"These cases affect all of us," explained Casey, "those who pay taxes, which fund federal health care benefit programs, and even private health care programs, and those who pay insurance premiums."
Roy appeared in a federal court in Dallas on Tuesday wearing a T-shirt and jeans. He told the judge that he understood the massive fraud charges that he is now facing. Roy's attorney said that he has not seen any evidence of his client violating the law.
Six other people have also been indicted in the massive fraud case, including Roy's office manager, Teri Sivils, and the owners of North Texas home health care agencies.
The FBI will seize Roy's assets on Wednesday, and try to recover nearly $19 million that he allegedly made in profits. Meanwhile, Roy remains in federal custody. He will ask a judge to be released on Monday. If convicted, Roy faces life in prison.
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