Former Chicago doctor convicted in Medicare fraud scheme

A Florida doctor formerly based in Chicago has been convicted on federal charges that he billed Medicare for tests that weren’t necessary.

A federal jury Monday found Dr. Omar Garcia guilty on six counts of health care fraud for claims he submitted while working for Chicago-based Grand Medical Clinic Inc., according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Federal prosecutors said Garcia authorized unnecessary allergen tests for Medicare beneficiaries between 2011 and 2015.

Garcia used Grand Medical and other medical companies to submit the fraudulent bills to Medicare to avoid scrutiny by reducing the number of claims from any individual biller, prosecutors said. After Medicare paid the billers, he received checks for a percentage of the payments.

Each count of health care fraud is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Garcia, who previously lived in Wilmington and now in Ocala, Florida, is due for sentencing May 6.