Charged with faking injections, distributing opioids, 2 Dallas docs face up to 70 years

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Two people have been accused in federal court of illegally distributing hydrocodone and faking corticosteroid injections out of a pain management clinic in Dallas, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.

Desi Barroga and Deno Barroga, both 51-year-old doctors from Dallas, were indicted Nov. 14, each facing one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, five counts of healthcare fraud and one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, according to the news release. They were arrested Nov. 16 and made their initial court appearances two days later.

The Department of Justice said Desi Barroga and Deno Barroga prescribed high doses of hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine to patients who made “a short office visit” once a month for the prescriptions. During the visits, the two doctors submitted fraudulent claims to their patients’ insurance companies, claiming they received dozens of corticosteroid injections, federal authorities said.

In reality, according to the news release, they received few injections if any. In reality, the doctors would place a needle on the patient’s body, mimicking an injection without ever actually piercing the skin. In the few instances where the doctors did provide an injection, it was generally only a small amount.

The doctors also created fake medical records that falsely claimed they provided more than 80 injections to a patient on a single date, according to the Justice Department. Health insurance companies were billed more than $50 million by the doctors, who were paid around $12 million for fraudulent services.

If convicted of all the charges, the two doctors could each face up to 70 years in federal prison, the Justice Department said in the news release. That’s up to 10 years for each charge.

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