FBI estimates doctor victimized 'thousands' of people, many undocumented immigrants

Jorge Zamora-Quezada, 61, indicted on 7 charges

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - The FBI is trying to track down patients of a McAllen-based doctor with a San Antonio office who allegedly administered chemotherapy and other toxic medications to people based on false diagnosis.

Jorge Zamora-Quezada, 61, is accused in an international money laundering scheme and health care fraud totaling $240 million. Zamora-Quezada appeared before a court Monday and is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, five counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. His detention hearing will be Tuesday.

"The allegations that Zamora-Quezada violated his oath to do no harm by administering unnecessary chemotherapy and other toxic medications to patients with serious diseases -- including some of the most vulnerable victims imaginable -- are almost beyond comprehension," acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan said. 

According to the indictment, Zamora-Quezada and co-conspirators who are not named in the indictment falsely diagnosed people -- including the young, elderly and disabled, from the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio and elsewhere  -- with various degenerative diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.

The indictment alleges they administered "chemotherapy and other toxic medications" based on false diagnoses.

Through the false diagnoses, Zamora-Quezada and others subject patients to "fraudulent, repetitive and excessive medical procedures in order to increase revenue," ultimately funding the doctor's opulent lifestyle.

Authorities said Zamora-Quezada owned a million-dollar private jet and a Maserati -- both emblazoned with his initials “ZQ" -- and used both to travel between his offices in the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio.

"He and his co-conspirators transferred the proceeds derived from the conspiracy to purchase private jets, luxury vehicles, clothing from high-end retailers such as Louis Vuitton and exclusive real estate located throughout the United States and Mexico," according to a release from the Department of Justice. 

Feds said Zamora-Quezada created fake patient records and concealed thousands of medical records from Medicare by storing them in a barn in the Rio Grande Valley.

The indictment states the doctor laundered money through properties he purchased. The DOJ states he acquired two penthouses in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; a condominium in Aspen, Colorado; a condominium in Punta Mita, Mexico; and multiple homes and commercial properties throughout Texas.

"He then created the false appearance of legitimate wealth and income by renting the various commercial and residential properties that he acquired to individuals and entities," the DOJ alleges. 

Authorities are asking Zamora-Quezada to forfeit his personal jet, Maserati and multiple residential and commercial properties in the U.S. and Mexico.

WERE YOU A PATIENT OF DR. ZAMORA-QUEZADA?

The FBI is trying to identify other possible victims of Zamora-Quezada and his co-conspirators.Those who were a patient of Zamora-Quezada's from 2000 through May 2018 and believe they may have been affected by his or his co-conspirators alleged crimes, can contact the FBI at 1-833-432-4873, option 8, or email the taskforce at ZamoraPatient@fbi.gov.

"The FBI is legally mandated to identify victims of federal crimes that it investigates and provide these victims with information, assistance services and resources," according to a release from the DOJ.

The FBI has bilingual victim services representatives and agents that can provide information to non-English speakers.

THERE COULD BE THOUSANDS OF VICTIMS, FBI SAYS

The FBI estimated that Zamora-Quezada victimized "thousands" over at least 18 years, many likely undocumented, non-English speakers. 

Officials said they aren't concerned about the immigration status of victims and that they won't be asked to testify if they don't want to.

The FBI said many victims could be "Winter Texans," who were in the Rio Grande Valley and are now across the U.S.

READ THE INDICTMENT

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