psychologist convicted of health care fraud scheme | Takeover bid

A federal jury has convicted an Illinois licensed psychologist of defrauding Medicare over several years by causing fraudulent claims to be submitted for psychotherapy services he never provided.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Renato F. Duarte, aka Ren Duarte, 63, of Chicago, caused the submission of fraudulent health insurance claims from July 2016 to June 2019 for psychotherapy services allegedly provided to nursing home patients in and around Chicago. areas. Duarte’s scheme included fraudulent billing for in-person services on dates Duarte was traveling out of the country and fraudulent billing for psychotherapy allegedly provided to deceased patients.

Duarte was found guilty of four counts of health care fraud. He is due to be sentenced on April 18, 2023 and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch, Jr. for the Northern District of Illinois; Acting Special Agent in Charge Ashley T. Johnson of the FBI Chicago Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Mario M. Pinto of the Chicago Regional Office of the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General (HHS-OIG) made the announcement.

The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Chicago Strike Force, overseen by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. .

Trial Attorneys Steven Scott and Thomas D. Campbell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s efforts to combat health care fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force program. Since March 2007, this program, made up of 15 strike forces operating in 24 federal districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program more than $19 billion. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, is taking steps to hold providers accountable for their involvement in drug fraud schemes. Health care. More information can be found at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/health-care-fraud-unit.

Elna M. Lemons