FRESNO-On November 4, 2019, Sandra Haar, 59, of Merced, was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $6,107,846 in restitution for 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 over $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.
“I applaud investigators and agents for investigating medical professionals who ignore the health and welfare of people and communities by putting money and greed above all,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “It is shocking that this type of criminal activity by health care professionals takes place in our state and country.”
According to court documents, Haar also received thousands of dollars in kickbacks in cash from an account executive at a laboratory in exchange for using it for patients’ laboratory testing.
This case was 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. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lee S. Bickley and Michael Tierney prosecuted the case.
Haar was ordered to self-surrender on Jan. 15, 2020, to begin serving her sentence.