Osteopathic Physician Arrested On Health Care Fraud Charges
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that DAVID LESTER JOHNSTON, 45, of Ridgefield, was arrested today on federal health care fraud charges. On March 12, 2014, a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford returned an indictment charging JOHNSTON with 14 counts of health care fraud and 14 counts of making false statements relating to health care matters.
JOHNSTON, an osteopathic physician, owns and operates Osteopathic Wellness Center, LLC, located at 158 Danbury Road in Ridgefield. The indictment alleges that JOHNSTON engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare and several private health insurance companies by billing for osteopathic and physical therapy services that he did not perform, and by misrepresenting the nature of the services that were performed.
JOHNSTON appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford and entered a plea of not guilty. He was released on a $100,000 bond.
If convicted, JOHNSTON faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000 on each of the health care fraud counts, and a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of $250,000 on the false statements counts.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael W. Ahearn and Auditor Kevin A. Saunders.
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