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Dermatologist living in Hughson indicted for fraud
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A dermatologist living in Hughson and operating out of a Turlock office has been indicted by a federal grand jury on allegations of fraud.

A federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment on Thursday against Basil Hantash, 44, charging him with healthcare fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney General's Office.

According to court documents, Hantash is a dermatologist and the medical director of Advanced Skin Institute in Turlock. From 2011 through April 2016, Hantash submitted claims to private insurance companies requesting payment for performing acne surgeries. It is alleged that staff at ASI had performed only cosmetic procedures known as microdermabrasions, or chemical peels. Two insurers, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California, paid ASI a total of approximately $220,000 during that time for claimed acne surgeries.

The case is the product of an investigation by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael G. Tierney is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Hantash faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of health care fraud. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.