SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) Three people with Texoma ties have been indicted on federal health care fraud charges.
U.S. Attorney Joe Brown says the way victims found out about the fraud is because their insurance companies notified them that phony claims had been filed in their name.
All of that to say there are people whose information was stolen, but the U.S. Attorney's office is still trying to determine how many victims there are.
"Every dollar that's stolen from Medicare comes right out of taxpayer's pocket, and so this was a concentrated effort all over Texas by the US Attorney's office to charge people who are involved in medical fraud which drives up costs for the rest of us," said Brown.
He says 44-year-old Demetrius Cervantes of McKinney, 39-year-old Amanda Lowery of Sherman, and 27-year-old Lydia Henslee of Denison hacked into and stole patient information, then repackaged it as fake orders to medical equipment providers to pocket over $1 million.
Brown says Cervantes worked in the medical field previously and was able to hack into patient records from past employers. They operated through all of North Texas, including in Sherman and McKinney.
Their arrest is part of a statewide health care fraud crackdown that landed 58 people with federal charges this week.
"In this case, these people would get notices from their insurance companies that claims were made to Medicare on their behalf for things that they never use," says Brown.
Feds traced down purchases like a new Range Rover, a new Dodge Durango, and several personal watercraft that have all been seized now.
"If you steal from the government, you're stealing from taxpayers and there's going to be a severe consequence," says Brown.
Out of the 58 people charged in this crackdown, about half are from North Texas. They're facing charges for anything from overprescribing opioids to over-billing the government for healthcare.
If you notice anything suspicious on your insurance bills contact your insurance company to be sure of its origin.