Eliza Diaconescu, 73, of Lake Forest, (inset) who operated as a doctor at a pain clinic in Gurnee, has been charged in federal court with health care fraud, prosecutors said. | Background Photo: Google Street View

Federal prosecutors say a Gurnee doctor has been charged for prescribing opioids to patients without a medical visit and then fraudulently billing Medicare for the non-existent treatment.

Eliza Diaconescu, 73, of Lake Forest, is charged with one count of health care fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

The charge was brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Opioid Task Force, which was formed in 2019 to combat the nation’s opioid crisis.

A criminal information filed Thursday in federal court alleges that Diaconescu pre-signed blank prescriptions for hydrocodone, oxycodone and fentanyl for patients of her pain clinic in Gurnee between 2016 and 2021.

Diaconescu pre-signed the prescriptions so they could be provided to patients when she was not at the clinic, prosecutors said.

The patients picked up the pre-signed prescriptions for the opioids from other workers at the clinic.

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The patients did not have a contemporaneous examination with Diaconescu, the complaint alleges.

Diaconescu then knowingly submitted false claims seeking reimbursement from Medicare for the purported visits, knowing that such visits did not occur, the complaint said.

The charging documents also said that Diaconescu and others at the clinic created false paperwork indicating that Diaconescu had face-to-face exams with patients.

The charge is punishable by a maximum sentence of ten years in federal prison.

An arraignment hearing is scheduled for Monday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez.