CHICAGO (CBS) – The owner of a Chicago-area chain of weight-loss clinics is wanted by the federal government on fraud charges.

Gautam Gupta, 57, owner of the Nutrition Clinic, is accused of defrauding a private health insurer and the Illinois Medicaid program, the FBI said in a news release issued Friday.

Gupta, whose has advertised heavily on local airwaves, has fled and is considered a fugitive, federal authorities said. He last resided in Rockford.

He is charged with one count each of mail aud, health care fraud and conspiracy – all felonies — in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield.

Gupta, or members of his staff under his direction, allegedly submitted false claims to both Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the Illinois Medicaid program for unnecessary procedures or procedures that were never performed. During the period of June 2001 through January of 2010, the complaint says, the Nutrition Clinic was paid nearly $25 million for claims submitted on behalf of clinic patients.

The Nutrition Clinic has locations in Arlington Heights, Chicago, Naperville, Rockford and South Beloit.

If convicted of the charges filed against him, Gupta faces a possible sentence of up to 35 years incarceration.

Anyone recognizing Gupta or having any information about his current whereabouts is asked to call the Chicago FBI at (312) 421-6700.

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