By KERRY CRAIG
News-Telegram Staff Writer
Defense attorney Heath Hyde said the indictments returned last week against Dr. Don Oneal and his wife Mary Ann Oneal are nothing new.
“It's the same case,” Hyde said Monday morning. “They just re-worded some words in the indictment after the AG was looking at it instead of how Martin [Braddy] had it worded. They are based on the same facts of the two [indictments] that were already in place, so it's not anything different than what it was.”
Both Dr. Oneal and his wife, Mary Ann, were originally indicted on allegations of Medicaid fraud and theft in December of 2011 as the result of investigations by the Texas Attorney General's office and Hopkins County District Attorney's office.
The new indictments allege that Don Oneal appropriated more than $20,000 and less than $100,000 from the Health and Human Services Commission by deception through billing the Texas Medicaid Program for services performed by Micah Oneal or Mary Ann Oneal and billing those services as if they were performed by himself.
Indictments against Mary Ann Oneal also allege the appropriation of more than $20,000 and less than $100,000 through misrepresentation of a material fact, “that when Don Oneal provided medical and other health care services to Medicaid patients, when said services were provided by Mary Ann Oneal.
Both were free on $5,000 bond on the indictments and were awaiting trial at the time of the re-indictments.
Hyde said both were still free on those bonds.
“We just transferred the bonds from the other case to this one,” the defense attorney said. “It was the same facts and everything else, they just wanted to add and change some words up.”
The new indictments against the long-time Sulphur Springs physician are the latest in a series of cases beginning in three years ago that included more than 50 separate indictments for misapplication of fiduciary funds, theft, delivery of controlled substances and forgery.
In exchange for a plea of guilty to charges of misapplication of fiduciary funds last June, the remaining were dropped and Oneal was ordered to pay more than $800,000 in restitution.
Oneal's attorney said no date has been set for trial on the latest indictments.
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