CHICAGO (STMW) — A Chicago psychiatrist is accused in a federal lawsuit of taking illegal kickbacks from drug companies and submitting at least 140,000 false Medicare and Medicaid claims for antipsychotic medications he prescribed to thousands of mentally ill patients in area nursing homes.

The United States filed the civil health care fraud suit Thursday against Michael J. Reinstein, 69, of Skokie, who has been providing psychiatric medical services in the Chicago area since 1973.

He’s also accused of submitting at least 50,000 Medicare and Medicaid claims falsely stating he provided “pharmacologic management” for his patients at more than 30 area nursing homes and long-term facilities.

The government is seeking triple damages under the False Claims Act, plus a civil penalty of $5,500 to $11,000 for each alleged false claim.

“This is the largest civil case alleging prescription medication fraud against an individual ever brought in Chicago,” acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Watch & Listen LIVE