EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A Florissant foot doctor with a practice in East St. Louis, Illinois, appeared in federal court last week and pleaded guilty to health care fraud.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois said Howard Jackson, 69, admitted that from January 2016 to December 2020, he billed Medicare and Medicaid for procedures he never performed.

Jackson told the court he regularly submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for nail avulsions, which is a procedure involving the partial or total removal of the toenail from the tip of the nail back to its base. Nail avulsions typically require the patient to be given anesthesia to avoid pain or discomfort.

But according to court documents, Jackson said he never used anesthesia and only provided routine foot care, such as trimming or clipping toenails.

Prosecutors said Jackson’s scheme cost Medicare and Medicaid at least $144,694.

Jackson will be sentenced on July 27. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.