Lauderdale County Doctor Indicted for Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 02, 2012|
BIRMINGHAM—A federal grand jury today indicted a Lauderdale County physician for fraud totaling about $1.3 million in connection to billing a health insurer and Medicare for non-reimbursable cosmetic skin treatments, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley.
The 96-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges DIANA K. McCUTCHEON, 54, of Killen, with committing health care fraud and wire fraud through her medical clinics in Elgin and Lexington in North Alabama. The indictment charges McCutcheon with operating a scheme to defraud Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and Medicare between 2007 and 2012 by fraudulently billing for the removal of multiple skin lesions on patients who had received cosmetic laser and other treatments for various skin conditions, including sun spots, age spots, and wrinkles, that were not covered by insurance.
The indictment charges 48 counts each of health care fraud and wire fraud. It seeks forfeiture of $1.3 million from McCutcheon as proceeds of the frauds.
“Health care and the cost of insurance are vitally important issues to us all,” Vance said. “Anyone who fraudulently bills private and public insurance plans for money he or she is not entitled to drives up costs for everyone. We will thoroughly investigate and aggressively prosecute this crime,” she said.
Each of the health care fraud counts carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each of the wire fraud counts carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell E. Penfield is prosecuting the case.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.