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Last month, a Texas doctor was arrested on a number of serious charges related to the level of care he provided to his patients and the potential fraud that he committed against the U.S. government. He was also charged with federal money laundering offenses. Essentially, the government is claiming that the doctor falsely diagnosed patients in order to conduct expensive tests and prescribe certain types of medication that may have been unnecessary.

Doctor ConsultationWhile the case against the doctor was initially brought based on the fraud he allegedly committed against the government, many of the doctor’s former patients have begun to come forward to explain how the doctor’s conduct caused them serious injuries. According to a recent local news source, federal investigators now believe that there may be over 3,000 victims affected by the doctor’s conduct – many in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas (including McAllen, Mission, Edinburg, Pharr, Brownsville, Harlingen) as well as in the greater San Antonio area, where the doctor had offices.

The article discusses a few of the former doctor’s patients, including a man who claims that he was falsely diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis by the doctor, who placed the patient on a strong prescription drug. After taking the medication for some time, the patient began to develop burns on his skin, and his fingernails and toenails started falling off. Later, after the patient began to lose his skin, he consulted with another doctor, who told the patient that he never had rheumatoid arthritis and immediately took the patient off the prescription medication. The patient claims that his symptoms were caused by the prescription medication.

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When most people think of a medical malpractice claim, images of a botched surgery or missed diagnosis come to mind. However, some cases of Texas medical malpractice involve a doctor’s intentional conduct, not necessarily to harm his patients but to pad his own wallet.

Medical RecordsEarlier this month, federal law enforcement authorities arrested a South Texas doctor (Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada) with offices in the San Antonio, Brownsville and Edinburg/McAllen areas on a seven-count indictment, alleging that the doctor engaged in a “massive fraud scheme that jeopardized the health and wellbeing of innocent children, elderly and disabled victims.” According to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the doctor falsely diagnosed patients and performed unnecessary medical procedures – including injections and infusions of chemotherapy drugs such as methotrexate. The doctor also allegedly prescribed unnecessary medication to patients. Many of the medications he prescribed can have a harmful effect on healthy individuals. In order to justify these courses of treatment, authorities claim that the doctor falsified medical records, stating that patients claimed to have more pain than they reported to have.

The doctor practiced rheumatology in the Rio Grande Valley and Central Texas, with offices in Brownsville, Edinburg, and San Antonio. He is alleged to have hidden medical records from other doctors who work with his patients, as well as from Medicare oversight. Authorities apparently located a dilapidated barn full of his patients’ medical records.

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