Dr Jaswinder Rai Chhibber, 43, faces a maximum penalty of 70 years of imprisonment, and a fine of $2,250,000 for being found guilty of five
WASHINGTON – An Indian American physician in Chicago has been convicted of a health care fraud by a federal grand jury, the US Justice Department said. Dr Jaswinder Rai Chhibber, 43, faces a maximum penalty of 70 years of imprisonment, and a fine of $2,250,000 for being found guilty of five counts of healthcare fraud and four counts of making false statements involving a health care benefits programme between 2007 and July 2010.
After less than two full days of deliberations following a week-long trial in US District Court, in Chicago, the jury found him not guilty of seven additional counts.
Chhibber, who operated the former Cottage Grove Community Medical Clinic in Chicago, was convicted on Tuesday of defrauding Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois by submitting false insurance claims for medically unnecessary tests and using false diagnosis codes to justify the tests he had ordered.
According to the Justice Department, the evidence at trial showed that Chhibber ordered medically unnecessary tests, falsified patients’ medical records, and used false diagnosis codes on insurance claim forms in various fashions for at least five patients who testified at trial, including two undercover federal agents who posed as patients.
Evidence also showed that Chhibber administered echocardiograms (Echo), electrocardiograms (ECG), nerve conduction studies, and carotid doppler and abdominal ultrasounds for an unusually high percentage of his Medicare and Blue Cross patients, it said.