Texas firm charged with giving fake flu shots to seniors

Share this content:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott obtained a court order freezing the assets of home health businesses after the owner allegedly gave residents of three senior living facilities fake flu shots.

Iyad Abu El Hawa, owner of Comfort & Caring Home Health and America Home Health Care Services, is accused of attempting to bill Medicaid and Medicare after administering fake flu vaccinations to beneficiaries at senior living facilities in Houston and LaPorte, TX.

El Hawa is charged with administering the fake vaccine to the senior center residents and as many as 1,600 employees and contractors at ExxonMobil's refinery in Baytown, TX. El Hawa planned to bill ExxonMobil for the vaccine, according to court documents.

An employee of El Hawa reportedly stayed up all night before the health fair filling syringes with purified water, according to officials.

If convicted, the defendants face up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. No illness has been reported from the flu shots.
(Published 11-3-05)