The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Muskogee announced that Steven William Delia, 61, of Tulsa was found guilty of health care fraud by a federal jury on Thursday. The jury also found that the defendant should forfeit $83,769.27 in assets as part of any sentence imposed.
Delia had a medical clinic at 202 E. Cherokee in downtown Sallisaw. Delia surrendered his medical license in 2012, according to reports.
Delia was indicted in June and charged. The Indictment alleged that on about Feb. 1, 2010, and continuing through Nov. 9, 2010, Delia attempted to execute the above-described scheme and artifice to defraud the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, a health benefit program in connection with the payment for health care benefits, items and services.
The trial began with testimony on Sept. 26 and concluded with closing arguments and jury deliberations on Sept. 29.
Testimony at the trial established that Delia knowingly and willfully, with the intent to defraud, devised and executed a scheme to defraud the Oklahoma Medicaid program by causing the filing of false claims and receiving Medicaid payments for medical services not rendered by a qualified medical professional.
Additional evidence proved that during the time charged in the Indictment, Delia, in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan, pre-signed about 9,000 blank prescriptions for his unsupervised physician’s assistant and nursing staff to disseminate Schedule II narcotics during his absence, from the Delia Medical Clinic in Sallisaw. A percentage of those office visits and prescriptions were billed to Medicaid, causing the filing of false claims and receiving Medicaid payments for medical services not rendered by a qualified medical professional.
The charges are a result of an investigation by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General.
District Judge James H. Payne of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in Muskogee presided over the trial and ordered the completion of a presentence investigation report. The defendant was released on bond pending sentencing.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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