Peñitas pharmacist still free after guilty plea in fake medical claims

McALLEN — Nearly a year after his co-defendant was sentenced to prison, a Peñitas pharmacist remains free after a court reset his sentencing hearing for a third time, records show.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane granted a motion to reset the sentencing hearing for Omar Espericueta until May 19, 2020 — more than a year after he was initially set to be sentenced in May 2019, the court notes show.

The order, which was sealed by the court, was filed Nov. 14 by Espericueta’s attorney, Carlos A. Garcia, records show.

Espericueta was expected to be sentenced in December 2018, along with his co-defendant, former Pharr commissioner Oscar Elizondo, but his hearing was reset for May 2019 at that hearing.

Right before his sentencing hearing in May, Garcia filed a sealed motion May 8, 2019, requesting a continuance, which the court granted May 10, for Espericueta to be sentenced Aug. 20, 2019, records show.

Again, on Aug. 9, Garcia filed a motion for continuance, under seal, which was granted Aug. 19, resetting Espericueta’s sentencing until Nov. 21, 2019 — with that now being reset for May 2020.

Last December, Elizondo was handed a 22-month prison sentence in connection with what Crane characterized as “blatant fraud,” and “complete ruse,” in which he and Espericueta submitted nearly $2 million in fake claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.

Source: Peñitas pharmacist still free after guilty plea / The Monitor

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