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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 14, 2014

Alton Doctor Pleads Guilty To Health Care Fraud And Illegal Dispensation Of Controlled Substances

Viwathna Bhuthimethee, 68, a medical doctor who operated the Walk In Clinic, located at 654 East Broadway Street in Alton, Illinois, pled guilty today in federal court to the fifteen counts of an indictment which charged health care fraud against the Illinois Medicaid program and illegal distribution of Schedule III controlled substances (Hydrocodone) and Schedule IV controlled substances (Xanax) by prescribing outside the usual course of professional conduct and without legitimate medical purpose, Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced.

Health care fraud carries penalties of a maximum of 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, a maximum of three years of supervised release following prison, and a $100 special assessment. Illegal distribution of a Schedule III controlled substance (Hydrocodone) carries penalties of a maximum of 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $500,000, no less than two years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. Illegal distribution of a Schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax) carries penalties of a maximum of five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, one year of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

Sentencing is set for April 3, 2014, at 10:00am, in the Federal courthouse in East St. Louis, Illinois.

The matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as by the Illinois State Police, Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau, the Alton Illinois Police Department and the Madison County Coroner’s Office. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Quinley and Special Assistant United States Attorney Stuart Zander.

If you suspect or know of an individual or company that is not complying with healthcare laws or public aid programs, you may report this activity to the local office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General or call 1-800-447-8477.

Updated February 19, 2015