Texas Lawmaker Indicted in Dentist Kickback Case


One-term State Rep. Tara Rios Ybarra, D-South Padre Island, is the fourth south Texas dentist indicted in a federal case alleging Medicaid fraud and a referral kickback scheme.

Rios Ybarra, of South Padre Island, made her initial court appearance Wednesday in Brownsville where a judge set bond at $100,000.

Prosecutors say Dr. Gary Schwarz of McAllen billed Medicaid for services that were either not performed or were performed by unlicensed employees.

Schwarz also allegedly paid a 15 percent kickback to Mission dentists Willis Egger and Reynaldo Casares for referrals.

The indictment says Rios Ybarra also received kickbacks for referring patients to Schwarz.

A man who answered the phone Wednesday in her district office declined comment and said Rios Ybarra likely would not comment.

According to her House biography, she’s a graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center and has practiced dentistry since 1997 in Cameron County, where she owns a practice.3

She was elected to the Texas House in 2008, but lost the seat in the March Democratic primary.

Click here to visit Ybarra's website

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