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Doctor Pleads Innocent to Medicare Fraud Charges

November 7, 1988

CINCINNATI (AP) _ An ophthalmologist who pleaded innocent Monday to charges he bilked the Medicare program will be allowed to keep practicing while the matter is pending, a prosecutor said.

Dr. Richard D. Levin, 42, described by authorities as the largest Medicaid biller in Ohio, stood quietly as he was arraigned in federal court on the 328- count fraud indictment.

He could face penalties of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count, federal prosecutors said.

Levin, of suburban Indian Hill, pleaded innocent on behalf of himself and his company, Levin Eye Institute, which runs six eye clinics in Ohio and northern Kentucky.

He is accused of billing Medicare for eye operations or other treatments that were not done, or for having told the government he performed tests on both a patient’s eyes when only one eye was tested. Prosecutors said there was no evidence his patients were aware of it.

The indictment also alleges that Levin’s company received kickbacks or discounts from companies in connection with purchases of lenses used in cataract surgery, but failed to reduce the lens prices to reflect the discounts when claims were submitted for payment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Marie Tracey said the case is one of the biggest involving alleged Medicare fraud that the government has prosecuted. Federal investigators haven’t said publicly how much the alleged fraud amounted to during the four years under investigation. But they said Levin has billed Medicare for a total of $18 million the past four years.

Despite the size of the case, Ms. Tracey made no effort Monday to limit Levin’s right to travel or to restrict his practice while the case is pending. U.S. Magistrate J. Vincent Aug permitted Levin to remain free on his own recognizance.

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