Just over a year after the state stripped Dr. Charles Scarborough of his medical license, investigators arrested him on one count of fraud in excess of $50,000 and 821 counts of filing false or fraudulent insurance claims.
Dr. Scarborough was taken into custody at 8 am this morning at his residence in southwest Clay County, said Special agent supervisor Andrew Shedlock with FDLE's Jacksonville Regional Operations Center.
The single count is a first degree felony that could net Dr. Scarborough, 76, up to 30 years in prison. The other counts are third-degree felonies, which are punishable by up to five years in prison.
The investigation began last year when authorities identified Dr. Scarborough as "a significant prescriber of controlled substances in Northeast Florida," according to a statement from FDLE.
FDLE reported that investigators said they discovered evidence allegedly linking the former Macclenny physician to overprescribing medications and allowing unlicensed and untrained staff to practice medicine.
"The employees were then being directed to inflate medical billing to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers for a level of service that the patient did not receive," reads the FDLE statement. "Interviews with employees indicated that Scarborough, a sole practitioner, pushed his staff to see 50 or more patients a day and bill for medical issues not addressed and treatment not received ..."
The investigation was a cooperative effort among FDLE and the Baker County Sheriff's Office. Both agencies served a search warrant at Scarborough's former office on S. 5th St. in September, 2011, seizing more than a dozen computers and other paper documents.
Special agent Shedlock called the information gleaned from serving the search warrant "instrumental" in developing the case against Dr. Scarborough.
The suspect was booked into the Clay County jail. The case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution.