Brownsville man pleads guilty to healthcare fraud

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A 50-year-old Brownsville man is facing 10 years in federal prison after he continued to practice medicine despite having his license suspended in 2021, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas.

Fernando Mendez pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud on Monday.

The Texas Medical Board deemed Mendez a “continuing threat to public welfare” in July 2021 and had his license as a physician assistant suspended.

Despite the suspension, Mendez continued to practice medicine at CCI Therapy Counseling Centers International PC, which have locations in Harlingen and Brownsville.

Mendez also admitted to manufacturing medical records to make it appear a different medical provider had seen CCI patients when he was the one to have done so.

U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. accepted Mendez’s plea and will impose sentencing on Oct. 2.

Mendez is facing 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

He was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.