A 76-year-old Macclenny doctor has been arrested on one count of organized scheme to defraud more than $50,000 and 821 counts of false or fraudulent insurance claims.
The investigation into Dr. Charles Scarborough began late last year when investigators identified him as a significant prescriber of controlled substances in northeast Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Investigators raided his clinic in September 2011 and arrested the office manager and four patients, then shut down the clinic.
According to investigators, they discovered evidence that linked Scarborough to overprescribing of medications to patients as well as allowing unlicensed and untrained staff members to practice medicine. The employees were then being directed to inflate medical billing to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers for a level of service that the patient did not receive, investigators said.
Interviews with employees indicated that Scarborough, a sole practitioner, pushed his untrained medical staff to see 50 or more patients a day and bill for medical issues not addressed and treatment not received, all with the intent of maximizing profit, investigators said.
"We are pleased with the cooperative effort between the Baker County Sheriff's Office, FDLE and all of the other governmental agencies whose efforts culminated with this arrest," Baker County Sheriff Joey Dobson said in a news release.
During the course of the investigation, authorities teamed with the Florida Department of Health to obtain an Emergency Suspension Order for Scarborough's medical license in October 2011.
"I don't know if it's a record. One or 10 counts would be serious, but the number of counts shows a a flagrant disregard for the rules of society," FDLE spokesman Keith Kameg said in a phone interview.
Scarborough was booked into the Clay County jail. This case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution.