Ridgefield Doctor Pleads Guilty To Health Care Fraud

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- A 46-year-old Ridgefield osteopathic physician pleaded guilty Friday to committing health care fraud, according to the U.S. attorney's office. 

Dr. David Lester Johnston, who operates Osteopathic Wellness Center in Ridgefield, pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly said. He now faces up to 10 years in prison. 

According to court documents and statements made in court, Johnston admitted that he engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare and several private health insurance companies. He admitted to submitting claims for osteopathic and physical therapy services that he did not perform and by misrepresenting the nature of the services that were performed.

Johnston specifically admitted that he submitted claims in connection with services rendered by a massage therapist, but falsely described the services rendered and falsely stated that he himself had rendered the services.

Johnston is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on April 10. As part of the resolution of this case, Johnston has agreed to enter into a civil settlement with the government and will pay $270,528 to settle federal civil claims arising from his conduct.

This matter has been investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Mattei, Heather Cherry and Richard Molot.

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