The owner of a San Antonio-based hospice group is going to prison for exploiting patients for profit. 48-year-old Rodney Mesquias, the owner of Merida Group, was hit with a 20-year federal prison sentence and ordered to pay $120 million for his role in the scheme.
Federal prosecutors say Mesquias and two top company officials conspired to falsify records that incorrectly showed that patients were dying – in order to keep them enrolled in expensive but unnecessary hospice services. The money the men made helped pay for a lavish lifestyle.
A second Merida official, 48-year-old Henry McInnis of Harlingen, is awaiting his punishment. The third man, 82-year-old Francisco Pena of Laredo, died last year.