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State and federal prosecutors announced health care fraud charges Tuesday against five Oregon defendants, ranging from a large medical business to a Bay Area podiatrist.
"We are here to present a strong message to health care providers who steal from Oregonians," U.S. Attorney Karin J. Immergut said at a news conference.
She said William A. Bennett, owner of the Bay Area Foot Clinic at 1890 Waite St. in North Bend, pleaded not guilty to charges that he falsified medical records and made false claims for Medicare payments.
Prosecutors contend that in one case Bennett claimed payment for a surgical foot procedure for removing dead tissue from ulcers and wounds, known as "debridement," when all he did was clip the patient's toenails. He could face five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
The investigation included the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense Criminal Investigation Service.