Doctor Returned from Peru to Face Federal Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 27, 2012|
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that, following his extradition from Peru, Juan M. Rios, M.D., 65, formerly of Florissant, Missouri, was arraigned on a superseding indictment, which had been returned by a federal grand jury sitting in East St. Louis, Illinois, on August 23, 2000. Rios failed to appear in U.S. District Court on December 9, 1999, for his scheduled arraignment on the first indictment. The six-count superseding indictment, which was returned after Rios became a fugitive, charged a scheme to defraud various health care benefit programs of more than one million dollars, mail fraud, misuse of a Social Security card, and failure to appear.
Rios was originally released in November 1999, on a $3.5 million bond. For that bond, he was required to post $350,000 cash. The bond was forfeited to the United States on January 11, 2000, after a motion was filed by the United States advising the United States District Court that Rios was a fugitive.
Rios is now detained pending trial, which is set in United States District Court for August 27, 2012. United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton stated, “Justice may have been delayed, but it will not be denied. I congratulate the unflagging efforts of investigators who did not give up the fight to have Rios returned to the same courthouse where he failed to appear over 12 years earlier.”
The indictment charges that Rios billed insurance companies over $1 million dollars for services that had not been rendered, fraudulently claimed total disability insurance proceeds while he was still working, used a Social Security number that he knew did not belong to him, and failed to appear at his first scheduled arraignment. Rios had medical offices in Collinsville and Bethalto, Illinois.
If convicted, Rios faces up to 35 years’ in prison, fines of up to $1.5 million, and three years’ supervised release following imprisonment.
The investigation was conducted by Southern Illinois Health Care Fraud Task Force, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Postal Inspection Service, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the Internal Revenue Service, Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the Illinois State Police agencies. The United States Marshals Service transported Rios back to the United States.
The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Ranley R. Killian and Michael J. Quinley.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, that charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.