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Doctor receives 210 federal counts of health care fraud

One count of federal health care fraud may result in dire consequences for a Calcasieu, Louisiana, resident. Apparently, one did not seem enough when a 57-year-old doctor was charged with not one but 210 federal counts of health care fraud and money laundering. The case of a Florida doctor recently got a lot of attention because of the charges issued against her.

According to the report, the charges were filed after the federal authorities conducted an investigation for a year. Allegedly, the doctor defrauded insurance companies, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicaid and Medicare, by submitting false claims for medical procedures that were not performed on the patients. The doctor was accused of using the money she obtained from phony claims to purchase drugs and devices overseas that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The prosecutors also alleged that she filed claims for administering the unapproved drugs to patients.

The alleged fraudulent incidents supposedly occurred at her clinic from 1998 to 2009. During the indictment, the suspect entered a plea of not guilty. The accused doctor is facing up to 10 years in jail for each count of federal health care fraud. Ten years for each count of money laundering and up to three years in prison for each FDA violation.

Health care fraud is a serious offense in all 50 states, including in Louisiana. What are even more serious about such crimes are the consequences they may bring to those who are accused. Allegations concerning health care fraud may result in large fines, restitution and a lengthy prison sentence.

A federal offense has long-lasting consequences for a Louisiana resident as well as anyone else in the United States. However, a conviction of the charges may be avoided if the defendant is able to challenge the prosecution through a criminal law defense. Doing so may validate the evidence and protect the accused person's civil rights.

Source: Gainesville.com, "Gainesville doctor indicted on 210 federal counts," Cindy Swirko, April 23, 2014

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