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Posts from ‘March, 2017’

McAllen Area Durable Medical Equipment Company Owner Convicted of Health Care Fraud

McALLEN, Texas ‐ The owner of a durable medical equipment company has entered a guilty plea to defrauding Medicaid of more than $3 million, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.

Jury Convicts Pharr Man in Absentia for Hostage Taking Conspiracy

McALLEN, Texas – A 20-year-old Pharr man has been convicted of both conspiracy to commit hostage taking and conspiracy to transport undocumented aliens, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. The federal jury sitting in McAllen convicted Luis Gerardo Betancourt in absentia following a five-day trial and less than three hours of deliberation.


WASHINTON – The owner and operator of five Houston-area home health agencies pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud Medicare and the State of Texas’s Medicaid-funded Home and Community-Based Service and Primary Home Care of more than $17 million. He also pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money. These health care programs provided qualified individuals with in-home attendant and community-based services that are known commonly as “provider attendant services” (PAS). This case marks the largest PAS fraud case charged in Texas history.

Dinner Cruise Ship Captain Convicted of Using Stolen Identity

GALVESTON, Texas – A ship captain for Majestic Ventures, Majestic Dinner Cruises and Majestic Yacht Charters dinner cruise lines has entered a guilty plea to aggravated identity theft and making false statements in a passport application, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.

Leaders of Clandestine Marijuana Grow House Organization Sentenced to Federal Prison

HOUSTON – The three leaders of a Houston area indoor marijuana grow house organization have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms, announced Acting United States Attorney Abe Martinez. Quang Nguyen, 50, pleaded guilty Aug. 15, 2016, while Phuc Tran, 44, and his wife, Thuy Tran, 44, pleaded guilty in July and October 2016, respectfully. All resided in Houston.

Cuban Man Sent to Prison for Selling Credit Card Numbers

McALLEN, Texas – A Cuban citizen has been ordered to federal prison for conspiring to commit wire fraud, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Jorge Ernesto Blanco-Rodriguez, 43, a Cuban and Spanish citizen who resided in Havana, Cuba, pleaded guilty April 18, 2016.

Former IT Director and Wife Convicted for Embezzling More Than $1 Million from Employer

HOUSTON – Former director of Information Technology (IT) Services for Orion Real Estate Services Inc. and his wife have entered guilty pleas related to a conspiracy in which they stole more than $1 million, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez today.

Vela Bashes Trump’s Request for Border Wall Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today Congressman Filemon Vela (D-TX) released the following statement about President Trump’s request for $1 billion as part of the FY17 Supplemental Appropriations Request for the border wall:

Former Texas Congressman and Associate Indicted for Multi-Year Fraud Scheme

HOUSTON – A former U.S. Congressman and one of his associates were indicted today for their roles in orchestrating a scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from charitable foundations and the individuals who ran those foundations. Some of the funds were used to illegally finance the politician’s campaigns for public office and to pay for his personal expenses and those of his associates. Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas and Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement along with Assistant Director in Charge

Reward Offered for Most Wanted Sex Offender from Houston

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Jose Mario Lopez, 59, to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list, and a cash reward up to $3,000 is now being offered for information leading to his capture. Lopez is wanted for parole violation and failure to register as a sex offender. All tips are guaranteed to be anonymous.

DPS Seeks Leads to Solve 2007 Murder in Fredericksburg

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is asking for the public’s help in solving the 2007 murder of Linda Muegge, 55, in Fredericksburg, and a reward up to $6,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible, if the tip is received before next month’s featured case is announced. The Gillespie County Crime Stoppers also is offering a reward up to $10,000 associated with this case.

Rep Cuellar Renews Calls for Independent Probe of Trump-Russia Ties

Washington, DC – In response to the latest developments regarding Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, including former Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent statements, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) said:

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