Calif. Physician Indicted in Health Care Scam

January 27, 2005

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced the return of a second superseding indictment charging Dilbagh S. Chattha, M.D., 52, of Pleasanton, California, with 94 counts of health care fraud and 94 counts of mail fraud. The initial indictment in this case was returned by a grand jury on Jan. 8, 2004.

According to the indictment, Dr. Chattha is alleged to have submitted bills for reimbursement by the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the State of California Workers’ Compensation Program in which he claimed that he:

* Performed higher levels of service than he actually did;
* Prepared and submitted special reports, including more information than that which is included in typical medical billing forms;
* Conducted needle electromyography tests that he either did not perform or which he conducted fewer times than he billed for, and
should be compensated twice for the same procedure.

The maximum statutory period of imprisonment for each of the 94 mail fraud counts charged is 20 years in prison, while the maximum statutory period of imprisonment for each of the 94 health care fraud counts is 10 years. Both offenses carry a maximum fine of $250,000, a term of supervised release of three years, a special assessment of $100, and restitution.

However, any sentence following conviction will be based on guidance provided by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and would be imposed in the discretion of the court.

The defendant’s next scheduled court appearance is before United States District Judge D. Lowell Jensen on Feb. 25, 2005 for setting of motions and trial.

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