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Texas ophthalmologist facing fraud, money laundering charges

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According to the United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas, Michael Hochman, MD, is set to be arraigned Oct. 12 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher dos Santos.

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/dianaduda)

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/dianaduda)

Texas ophthalmologist Michael Hochman, MD, has been indicted by the United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on charges of health care fraud and money laundering.

The indictment was announced by US Attorney Alamdar S Hamdani in a news release.

A federal grand jury handed down the 5-count indictment on September 27, and Hochman made his initial court appearance on October 5. An arraignment is set for October 12 before US Magistrate Judge Christopher dos Santos.

According to court documents, Hochman is an ophthalmologist who owned and operated Michael A Hochman PA and Laredo Laser and Surgery Ltd. in Laredo, Texas.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Texas, Hochman allegedly falsely diagnosed vulnerable patients with ophthalmological diseases and various degenerative eye conditions. According to court documents, he allegedly directed optometry staff to conduct fraudulent, repetitive and excessive medical procedures on patients to maximize profits.

The indictment also alleges that through his actions, Hochman caused Medicare and other health care benefit programs to remit payment for millions of dollars in proceeds into various corporate and personal bank accounts.

The US Attorney’s Office asserts the false and fraudulent claims allegedly made by Hochman to Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare totaled $402,536,174. As a result of the false and fraudulent claims, Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare paid approximately $13,317,914, according to the charges.

Moreover, according to the US Attorney’s Office the indictment alleges Hochman used the money from the fraud scheme to buy luxury vehicles, airplanes, antique furniture, coins and other merchandise.

If convicted, Hochman could face up to 10 years in prison for one count of health care fraud. He also faces four counts of money laundering, with a potential a penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment. All charges also carry a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

Assistant US Attorneys Tina Ansari, Cynthia Villanueva, Tyler White and Grace Murphy are prosecuting the case, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

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