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Former Fugitive Doctor Admits Fraud In Illinois

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) – A doctor who spent a dozen years on the run from federal fraud charges in Illinois faces up to 35 years in prison now that he’s pleaded guilty.

Sixty-five-year-old Dr. Juan Rios pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis to health-care and mail fraud, as well as failing to appear in court.

Authorities say the former Florissant, Mo., resident admitted defrauding several insurance companies of more than $400,000 and pocketed more than $250,000 in fraudulent disability payments.

Rios originally was released in November 1999 on $3.5 million bail, but he skipped his arraignment the next month and became a fugitive.

He had medical offices in Collinsville and Bethalto.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 4.