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posted: 9/5/2012 3:27 PM

South Barrington doctor sentenced in fraud case

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A South Barrington surgeon was sentenced Wednesday to 10 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme that defrauded Medicare out of at least $10,000.

A federal jury in May convicted John Natale, 63, of making false statements, but acquitted him of health care and mail fraud.

U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer also imposed a $40,000 fine on Natale, and ordered him to perform community service upon his release from prison.

Natale's trial focused on surgeries he performed in 2003 and 2004 while working at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.

Prosecutors said Natale prepared false post-operation reports purporting to have performed aneurysm repairs that were never done and describing surgeries as being more complicated than they actually were.

In the case of one patient, another doctor testified that he had to "untangle falsehoods" in Natale's post-op records in order to properly treat the patient, according to court papers.

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