Written by The Business Journal Staff
The CEO of a health clinic network that had a presence in Madera has pleaded guilty to a $3.7 million fraud scheme.
Merced resident Sandra Haar, 57, was the founder and CEO of Horisons Unlimited, a nonprofit that provided health and dental services in Merced and surrounding communities, including Madera.
According to court documents, between Jan. 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.
Haar is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on Jan. 28, 2019 in Fresno. Haar faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of twice the value of Haar’s gain. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.