McAllen salesman for drug-testing firm gets prison for fraud

(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

A former Texas account representative with a drug-testing company has been sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison in a 2015 identity theft and Medicare billing scam.

Prosecutors say 47-year-old Ivan Cantu of Palmview was sentenced Wednesday in McAllen. Cantu in 2017 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in which Medicare was wrongly billed for nearly $840,000.

Investigators say Cantu, who must serve 56 months behind bars, fraudulently set up an account involving a medical clinic where he knew a lab technician.

Authorities say Cantu, while working for a toxicology testing company, and others forged patient identities and medical records. Urine specimens were sent for drug testing without consent of a patient or doctor.

Prosecutors say Cantu received commissions and collection fees from the testing company.