Valley patients speak out after McAllen doctor charged with health care fraud
Dr. Jorge Zamora-Quezada is behind bars Tuesday after a federal judge denied his bond and ruled that he be jailed pending his upcoming court hearings.
Zamora has been charged in a multimillion-dollar health care fraud scheme that the FBI says could affect as many as 10,000 former patients across the Valley and the country.
Two of those former patients are 32-year-old Raymond Orta and 33-year-old Belinda Garcia.
"I was only 26, 27 years old being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder,” said Orta. “I was really scared for my life."
Orta is looking back on the time he was a patient of Dr. Jorge Zamora Quezada after hearing the news. What was originally a visit to Dr. Zamora Quezada in 2010 for joint pain in his elbows turned into something more, he says.
"When I went to go see him, he diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis and then he gave me some heavy chemo-level drugs that almost killed me," added Orta.
After gaining over a hundred pounds and not feeling himself, Orta says his gut instinct kicked in to see another doctor.
"Instead of helping me up as a doctor, he essentially spit on me while I was down," said Orta. "Like at the lowest level, this dude spit on me and kicked me while I was down."
Orta wasn't the only one.
"I remember the treatments that he would give me," added former patient Belinda Garcia. "One was always steroid shots and those hurt. I mean literally, physically, hurt my body. And two, I didn't feel like they did anything for my way of life."
After being diagnosed with lupus, Garcia was referred to Dr. Zamora-Quezada’s in 2010.
"When I went, I ended up with all these other ailments that I didn't know that I had," said Garcia. "Rheumatoid arthritis, with fiber myalgia, he diagnosed me with PTSD, with depression, you name it, I was probably diagnosed with it."
Both Garcia and Orta want to be the voice of reason for those who can no longer speak or are too afraid to speak up.
Zamora Quezada is due back in court later this month.
If you believe you may have been affected you are asked to contact the FBI victim's hotline at 1-833-432-4873.