On August 14th, 2018

Merced Woman Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud California DHCS and DOJ assist in investigation

FRESNO – On August 13, 2018, Sandra Haar, 57, of Merced, pleaded guilty to health care fraud and conspiracy to receive kickbacks.

Haar was the founder and chief executive officer of Horisons Unlimited, a nonprofit public benefit corporation that provided health and dental services in Merced and surrounding communities. According to court documents, between January 1, 2014, and March 2017, Haar orchestrated a scheme to bill Medicare and Medi-Cal for services she knew were not reimbursable, and she profited by more than  $3.7 million from her fraud. For example, Haar billed Medi‑Cal for health and dental services that were not rendered and for unnecessary health care services. She also billed Medi-Cal for office visits with purportedly licensed doctors when the patients instead were dispensed Suboxone, an opioid medication, in the parking lots of McDonald’s and Rite Aid in baggies.

According to the plea agreement, Haar also received thousands of dollars in kickbacks in cash from an account executive at a laboratory in exchange for using it for Horisons patients’ laboratory testing.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG), the California Department of Health Care Services, and the California Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse.

Haar is scheduled to be sentenced on January 28, 2019. Haar faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of twice the value of Haar’s gain.

“Fraudulent billing Medicare and Medi-Cal hurts two systems that are in place to help,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.  “In addition, there is a serious problem in our country with the misuse and abuse of opiods.  Health care professionals should not be contributing to the problem, but looking at ways to

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