Twin Doctors Swindled $45M By Administering Fake Pain Shots

2 mins read
Pain shots
Photo Credit: "Study Participant Receives NIAID/GSK Candidate Ebola Vaccine" by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Two Dallas brothers, Deno and Desi Barroga, both 51, have confessed to defrauding insurance companies out of a staggering $45 million with fake pain shots.

Twin doctors scam patients with fake pain shots

They claimed to have administered thousands of expensive pain-relief shots that barely scratched the skin of their patients.

The Barroga twins, who specialized in rehabilitation, insisted their injections contained corticosteroids, which are used to treat ailments like arthritis, sciatica, and back pain.

Their patients, numbering in the thousands, visited their clinic monthly, with major insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and United Healthcare footing the bill.

A legal probe revealed the duplicitous doctors were merely pressing needles to the skin and applying local anesthetic to mimic the discomfort of a genuine shot.

They falsely documented performing up to 80 corticosteroid injections per patient, per visit.

Fake medical records, often copied and pasted across patients with minimal edits, were created by the Barrogas.

Patients were also instructed to make false claims about the treatments in their records.

Fake pain shots cost insurers millions

Between early 2016 and late 2022, they billed insurers for at least $45 million and collected around $9 million.

The Barrogas have been scrutinized before by the Texas Medical Board before the scam came to light.

In 2016, Deno was slapped with a $3,000 fine and was ordered to take a physician prescribing course after improperly prescribing controlled substances and other medications.

In 2021, Desi was placed on a remedial plan for failing to maintain proper medical records and provide adequate rationale for prescribing controlled substances, including fentanyl patches.

They pair pleaded guilty in May to one count each of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Rebecca Rutherford.

After their arrests, the twins face up to ten years each in federal prison and are currently awaiting sentencing. They’ve surrendered their DEA registrations and medical licenses.

Canadian doctor scammed friends with fake breast cancer

Elsewhere, Monica Kehar, a Canadian doctor, has also been stripped of her license to practice medicine, after allegedly defrauding her friends out of $160,000 by faking a cancer diagnosis.

Kehar reportedly duped her friend, Dr. Meaghan Labine, out of money by lying about having breast cancer and needing funds for housing during a residency program in Calgary.

The two met in 2018 while serving on the national body representing the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Labine recounted how Kehar preyed on her good nature, by constantly requesting money and signing contracts promising repayment.

“It just seemed like no matter how much I lent, it was never enough,” said Labine to CBC News. She later discovered Kehar fabricated her illness and had not even been accepted into the Calgary residency program.

“I felt absolutely humiliated,” Labine remarked about the scam. “How could I be so stupid as to be led on like this?”

In fact, Kehar was expelled from her medical program after a series of infractions, including the fake cancer claim.

After she disappeared with Labine’s cash to British Columbia, Kehar founded Prestige Body Lab, an electrical muscle stimulation clinic where she continued to present herself as a doctor, offering “M.D. provided services.”

Despite winning a default judgment against Kehar in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 2022, Labine has yet to recover her money. She has since filed another lawsuit in British Columbia.

Although Kehar has promised repayment, Labine remains skeptical. “When pressed for specifics or meeting with my lawyer, she provides nothing,” Labine stated to CBC News.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog