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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 16, 2015

Pennsylvania Physician Pleads Guilty To Tax Charges, Health Care Fraud

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A resident of the Dominican Republic, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of filing false individual and corporate tax returns and health care fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Dr. William R. Acosta pleaded guilty to seven counts before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Acosta, a physician licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, filed three false individual income tax returns and three false corporate income tax returns for calendar years 2001, 2002, and 2003, whereby he failed to report $561,129 in taxable income, resulting in an underpayment of $181,460 in income tax owed to the United States.

In addition, from Aug. 28, 2002, to Jan. 24, 2003, Acosta submitted false and fraudulent claims to Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield for levels of services higher than what he actually provided, and he unjustly received payment at the higher level from Highmark.

Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for May 14, 2015, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 28 years in prison, a fine of $1.750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney John J. Valkovci, Jr., is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Acosta.

Updated July 14, 2015