Indian-origin doc among FBI most wanted

FBI has launched a nationwide manhunt and alerted Interpol to locate one of its most wanted fugitives, an Indian-origin doctor Gautam Gupta, whose ads promising weight loss are well-known, for allegedly defrauding the US insurance companies of $25 million over the last decade.

An FBI complaint alleges that Gupta had received almost $25 million over the last decade when he submitted claims to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois and Illinois Medicaid for services that were not medically necessary or, in some cases, were never performed, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Medicaid is a US health programme for citizens from low family incomes and resources, funded by the federal and state governments and is managed by the state.

According to the complaint, FBI agents and Illinois State Police used interviews with current and former employees and patients of 57-year-old Gupta to build the case against him. The agencies also had undercover agents pose as patients. "We don't know where he is," Ross Rice, an FBI spokesman, was quoted by the paper. "All we know for sure is that he is not at his residence or any of his clinics."

Gupta has been charged with one count each of mail fraud, health care fraud and conspiracy by the FBI. If convicted, he faces up to 35 years in prison.

The paper said that Federal authorities believe Gupta has fled the country and may be in India, according to a filing in federal court in Springfield. Gupta has been entered by the FBI as a wanted fugitive in a computer database accessible to law enforcement officers across the country.

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