Modesto-Area Dermatologist Indicted for Health Care Fraud
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment today against Basil Hantash, 44, of Hughson, charging him with health care fraud, United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Hantash is a dermatologist and the medical director of Advanced Skin Institute (ASI) in Turlock. From 2011 through April 2016, Hantash submitted claims to private insurance companies requesting payment for performing acne surgeries. In fact, it is alleged that staff at ASI had performed only cosmetic procedures known as microdermabrasions, or chemical peels. Two insurers, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California, paid ASI a total of approximately $220,000 during that time for claimed acne surgeries.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Michael G. Tierney is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Hantash faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of health care fraud. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.