South Barrington doctor convicted by federal jury

 
 
Updated 5/17/2012 2:12 PM

A South Barrington doctor is facing five years in prison after a federal jury convicted him of make false statements in reports relating to health care benefits and services.

Following a weeklong trial, the jury convicted 63-year-old John Natale Wednesday. He is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 15.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Natale, a former vascular and thoracic surgeon at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, was acquitted of federal Medicare fraud charges. He was indicted in September.

Jurors determined Natale, who specialized in repairing abdominal aortic aneurysms, lied in reports about the extent of two surgeries he performed in 2004.

One doctor, who subsequently operated on one of the patients and unraveled some of Natale's falsehoods in the patient's medical records, testified that the patient's treatment could have jeopardized if the false reports weren't uncovered.

Natale was one of 91 defendants who were swept up in a massive nationwide crackdown on Medicare fraud last fall that authorities alleged resulted in nearly $300 million worth of fraudulent claims.

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