The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, October 22 – The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office of Brett Ligon successfully took a physician’s medical building and most of his bank accounts, totaling well over $2 million, in one of the largest civil asset forfeiture cases in Montgomery County history. The District Attorney dropped all criminal charges against Dr. Rezik Saqer in return for receiving most of his assets.
The federal government, however, viewed Saqer’s case quite differently: as a criminal matter rather than a method of bringing funds into the government for additional spending. Rezik A. Saqer, 66, was sentenced on October 9, 2020, to seven years in federal prison for his role in fraudulently billing health care programs for at least $5 million. Saqer had previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud on July 2, 2019.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s office eventually obtained indictments of Saqer for murder but dropped those indictments in return for the civil asset forfeiture funds.
The Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District obtained the plea of guilty to the criminal charge on October 9, 2020.
According to evidence presented at the federal sentencing hearing, Saqer’s health care fraud scheme involved having the patient submit to unnecessary and dangerous procedures and tests, which were often performed by Saqer’s unlicensed staff and fraudulently billed to health care providers as having been provided by Saqer. Saqer’s scheme contributed to multiple overdose deaths.
Federal prosecutors, Andrew Pennebaker and Devon Helfmeyer, presented the case to Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas. In addition to the prison term, Chief Judge Rosenthal also ordered the defendant to pay $5 million in restitution.
Brett Ligon, District Attorney said, “I am proud to have our office work in close cooperation with multiple state and federal agencies, to investigate a case that has affected our community so profoundly. Even though it has been several years since that tragic day in September 2015, our office has continued to work to make sure that justice was done. Rezik Saqer will now spend several years in federal prison and pay millions in restitution, and he will never practice medicine in this county or any other county ever again.”