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Mahoning County doctor charged for allegedly committing health care fraud

Posted: 2:40 PM, Nov 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-23 15:04:39-05
Doctor generic

LAKE MILTON, Ohio — A doctor in Mahoning County who is accused of committing healthcare fraud out of his office in Lake Milton was arrested by the FBI on Thursday.

The doctor, Martin Escobar, 56, is charged by criminal complaint with illegally distributing controlled substances and committing health care fraud, the FBI said.

The doctor allegedly issued prescriptions for opioids and other drugs without a "legitimate medical purpose." Authorities say he also allegedly submitted bills to the government to pay for the prescriptions and other services.

The FBI states that between January 2018 to May 2019, the doctor wrote prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone, lorazepam and alprazolam "outside the usual course of professional practice."

According to authorities, he used fake diagnoses to write the prescriptions and falsified patients' pain levels in their charts.

He also "allegedly ignored the test results of certain patients, which repeatedly indicated the absence of prescribed drugs in the urine of the tested patients – suggesting the patients were abusing the drugs or diverting them on the street – and continued to issue prescriptions to these patients and bill the government for the tests," according to authorities.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the FBI at 216-583-5314.