Two doctors, Desi Barroga and Deno Barroga, both aged 51, have been charged with multiple offenses related to healthcare fraud and unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, according to U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton for the Northern District of Texas. The indictment, issued on November 14th, includes one count each of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, five counts each of healthcare fraud, and one count each of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.
The doctors were operating a pain management clinic in Dallas, where patients reportedly received prescriptions for high doses of hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine. The court documents reveal that during short monthly office visits, the defendants allegedly submitted fraudulent claims to patients' insurance companies, falsely indicating that the patients had received numerous corticosteroid injections. However, investigations suggest that the injections were either minimal or non-existent.
The doctors purportedly mimicked the injection process by placing a needle on the patient's body without actually piercing the skin. The indictment states that fake medical records were created to falsely document the administration of injections. The fraudulent claims amounted to over $50 million in billing to healthcare benefit programs, with approximately $12 million paid for these services.
Desi Barroga and Deno Barroga were arrested on November 16th and made their initial appearances on Friday. If convicted, each count of healthcare fraud and conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud could result in up to ten years in federal prison. Additionally, the unlawful distribution of a controlled substance charges carry a potential sentence of up to twenty years. The indictment also stipulates that the defendants may be required to forfeit any proceeds or property linked to the committed offenses. It's important to note that an indictment is an accusation and not evidence, and both defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.