Feds Looking for Weight-Loss Doctor on Fraud Charges
CHICAGO (FBI) — Criminal charges alleging that the owner of a chain of medically supervised weight-loss clinics defrauded both a private health insurance company and the Illinois Medicaid program were filed earlier this week, announced Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Mr. Grant was joined by Hiram Grau, Director of the Illinois State Police and Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) in announcing the charges.
Dr. Gautum Gupta, who owns and operates the Nutrition Clinic, with locations in Arlington Heights, Chicago, Naperville, Rockford and South Beloit, was charged with one count each of Mail Fraud, Health Care Fraud and Conspiracy, all of which are felony offenses, in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield.
The complaint alleges that Dr. GUPTA, or members of his staff acting at his direction, submitted claims to both the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance Company and the Illinois Medicaid program for unnecessary procedures or procedures which were never performed. The complaint indicates that, during the period of June 2001 through January of 2010, the Nutrition Clinic was paid nearly $25 million for claims submitted on behalf of clinic patients.
Attempts to locate and apprehend Dr. GUPTA have thus far been unsuccessful. As such, he is now the subject of a nationwide manhunt which is being coordinated by the Chicago FBI. Dr. GUPTA, whose last known address was 1660 North Mulford Road in Rockford, is described as a white/male of Indian descent, 57 years of age, 5’5” tall, 160 pounds, graying black hair which is sometimes worn in a ponytail, and brown eyes.
Anyone recognizing Dr. Gupta or having any information about his current whereabouts is asked to call the Chicago FBI at (312) 421-6700.
This case was investigated jointly by the Chicago FBI, the Illinois State Police – Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau, and the HHS-OIG.
If convicted of the charges filed against him, Dr. Gupta faces a possible sentence of up to 35 years incarceration.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Article source: http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/Feds_Looking_for_124104519.html