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PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Attorney Dismisses Health Care Fraud Charges Against Prominent Wheeling Physician

After a three-and-a-half-year legal battle between federal prosecutors and Dr. Ronald Chalifoux, prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the pending health care fraud charges against the West Virginia physician.

Dr. Chalifoux, Jr., age 58, a McMechen Pain Management Physician, was indicted in a 32 count indictment alleging health care fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud in June 2017. All counts will be dismissed upon a motion by federal prosecutors filed in the District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on October 30, 2018.

Dr. Chalifoux was alleged to have billed Medicaid and other insurers for visits when he was not in the office and sometimes out of the state. His attorneys, through a series of motions, continued to maintain that such management of a suboxone practice is completely permissible. Dr. Chalifoux, outspoken about the charges, maintained that the indictment was the culmination of multi-agency fishing expedition after previously failed allegations related to a 2014 meningitis outbreak and the allegations of a vindictive employee terminated for diversion. The multi-agency investigation that began in 2015 cast a wide net until it was ultimately whittled down to 11 counts by prosecutors shortly before trial as a result of a number of dismissals.

Chalifoux was represented by attorneys Ronald W. Chapman II, of the healthcare law firm Chapman Law Group and Elgine McArdle of the McArdle Law Office. The voluntary dismissal of the charges came after a motion filed by the prosecution two weeks before trial claiming that it failed to review 100,000 files and requested an adjournment. Chalifoux’s attorneys argued for dismissal claiming that his speedy trial rights were violated due to the delay needed to review all 100,000 prosecution files. While the motion was ultimately denied, prosecutors elected to dismiss the charges based on an agreement between Chalifoux and the Government prior to trial.

Statement of Ronald W. Chapman II and Elgine McArdle: We knew from the outset of this case that the prosecution’s position was deeply flawed and based on a misunderstanding of healthcare regulations. Despite many opportunities to resolve this case early, we believed in Dr. Chalifoux’s innocence and looked forward to presenting his case to the jury. We are pleased that Dr. Chalifoux was finally vindicated. We are glad to have taken this weight off of Dr. Chalifoux’s shoulders and we are thankful that prosecutors were ultimately receptive to our issues with this case and elected to dismiss the indictment.

Statement of Dr. Roland Chalifoux: I am incredibly relieved that this three and a half year ordeal is over. I have always maintained my innocence and look forward to continuing to practice medicine and treat my patients. The allegations against me were spawned by a previous employee of my practice who was terminated for diversion. I am grateful that my attorneys Ron Chapman and Elgine McArdle were finally able to convince prosecutors of the false nature of their allegations. I would like to thank all of my patients, friends, and colleagues who have stood by me and my staff during this very difficult three and a half years. Few Americans will understand the mental and financial burden a federal investigation places on its target – I am grateful that I am one of the few that have received vindication. I will continue to advocate for all patients suffering from various chronic pain conditions and I look forward to continuing my passion to provide top quality patient care to the residents of this community.

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