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Johnstown physician indicted for fraud arraigned in Newark

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 3:45 p.m.
 

CAMBRIA COUNTY

JOHNSTOWN

Physician indicted for fraud arraigned in Newark

A Cambria County physician who fled the country for his native Santo Domingo after he was indicted for health care fraud and tax charges is on his way back to western Pennsylvania, according to federal court records.

Dr. William Acosta was arraigned Monday before a magistrate in federal court in Newark, N.J. He was returned to the United States from Panama, where he was arrested last week.

Acosta, a neurologist, originally agreed to plead guilty to health care fraud and tax charges, according to an indictment unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Johnstown.

On April 3, 2006, Acosta's attorney notified the U.S. Attorney's Office that his client was willing to plead guilty after he was indicted, but Acosta had left Florida for the Dominican Republic the previous day, court records show.

The Department of Human Services began investigating the Johnstown physician in 2001 after receiving reports that he was prescribing an unusually high number of narcotics to patients without conducting required physical examinations. He also is charged with evading taxes on his income.

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