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Houston Area Man Charged in Massive Medicaid Fraud Has Detention Hearing in Federal Court Friday

WHO: Alex Oria, defendant in Medicaid fraud case

WHAT: Detention hearing on whether Oria should be granted bond on charges he participated in what’s being called one of the largest Medicaid fraud case in the country

WHERE: U. S. Magistrate Judge Hanks’ court, Courtroom 702, Federal Courthouse

WHEN: 10 a.m., Friday, July 20

Oria will be in court Friday for his detention hearing. The U.S. government is seeking to keep Oria in custody; Oria is seeking bail. He is facing two charges, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York: conspiracy to commit mail fraud and healthcare fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to Associated Press: A nationwide prescription drug ring bought mountains of HIV medications and other drugs from down-and-out Medicaid recipients in New York City, then marketed the pills to pharmacies that dispensed them to unsuspecting consumers. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan detailed the scheme at a news conference July 17 announcing charges against 48 defendants.

Unlike cases involving prescription painkillers and other addictive narcotics, the ring specialized in expensive medications — some worth more than $1,000 a bottle — for serious illnesses like HIV, schizophrenia and asthma. Authorities estimated that Medicaid lost at least $500 million in reimbursements over at least five years on pills diverted into the secondhand market.

News release from U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York:

Sue Davis

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