Duval Commissioner David Garza indicted on federal charges, accused of Medicaid fraud
Duval County Commissioner David Garza has been indicted on federal charges related to allegations he committed healthcare fraud.
Garza, who is listed in the court records as the owner of Adventia Home Health Agency, was indicted in September 2020 on four counts in a U.S. District Court in San Antonio.
The business is headquartered in San Antonio.
According to the indictment, count one is conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive health care kickbacks; counts two through four are offering to pay and paying illegal health care kickbacks and aiding and abetting.
According to records, Garza pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Attorney Hector Canales said, "Garza has pled not guilty and we are looking forward to the opportunity at trial to confront the disgruntled and troubled employee behind these unwarranted allegations."
The indictment states that then-owner David O. Garza hired a caseworker to collect medical billing information from a network of health industry contacts. The inquired information provided by the caseworker included insurance information of individuals that would potentially qualify for services at Garza's business, Adventia Home Health.
After receiving the potential billing information the caseworker would then submit the information to staff for them to then contact these individuals and market home health services for business. If an enrollment was successful, Adventia would then bill the individual's insurance provider and remit a portion of that payment to the caseworker, the indictment states.
The caseworker agreed with Garza to receive a $300 kickback for an individual with medicare coverage and $200 for individuals with non-medicare coverage. The kickback payments were paid out to the caseworker on Adventia payroll. Payroll staff was then instructed to file a W-2 and pay the caseworker as an hourly employee with the kickback divided at an hourly rate. A total of $3,385.94 was paid out to the caseworker, according to the indictment.
"It was a purpose of the conspiracy for defendant Garza to unlawfully enrich himself and others, known and unknown to the grand jury, by paying kickbacks and bribes in exchange for having patients referred to Adventia for the provision of home health services, at least some of which was billed to the Medicare and Medicaid programs," according to the indictment papers filed in the Western District of Texas San Antonio Division.
The indictment states the sources of the information understood that there would be a kickback in return from the caseworker. The indictment also states that Garza knew about the kickback funds and paid the caseworker.
"During this time period, the (caseworker) did not perform any legitimate marketing services, in that (caseworker) did not attempt to promote or advertise Adventia to patients, case managers, or doctors," according to the indictment.
An official with Adventia Home Health Agency stated Garza was not the current owner of the company and declined to comment about the indictment.
Garza is also a commissioner for Duval County Precinct 3. He has retained the seat for about seven years.
"I can not comment on this matter. While the allegations are concerning, we all should let the justice system run its course," said Duval County Judge Gilbert Saenz.
Garza is currently out on bond and a trial date has not been set at this time.