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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley on Thursday announced that 63-year-old Dr. Lynn E. Foret, 63, of Lake Charles, has pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard T. Haik to defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies out of close to $1 million.
Finley said according to the bill of information, from 2003 to 2009, Foret injected his patients' knees with a steroid solution while falsely billing and receiving payments from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies for a more costly drug called Hyalgan.
"During the time period outlined in the bill of information, he received reimbursements totaling $948,249.11. Foret is a Lake Charles medical doctor who specialized in orthopedic surgery since 1976. He closed his practice in December of 2012," Finley said in a news release. "Various types of steroids are often used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. Hyalgan is another more costly type of medication that is used to treat osteoarthritis. It contains a natural substance called Hyaluronate, which is normally found in the fluid that lubricates and cushions knee joints and is injected directly into a patient's knee to relieve inflammation."
Finley said Foret faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, restitution, and three years of supervised release for the count of heath care fraud.
A sentencing date has not been set.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Louisiana State Attorney General's Office, FBI, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly P. Uebinger is prosecuting the case.