Feds: Mason doctor facing charges flees country

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The U.S. Attorney's Office says Dr. Atiq Durrani of Mason has fled the country.

Spokesman Fred Alverson says the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati has issued a warrant for his arrest.

Durrani surrendered his passport in July, and they don't know how he left the country, but they believe he has.

In September, his attorney requested permission for Durrani to visit his terminally ill father in his home country of Pakistan, but the court refused permission.  Alverson says Pakistan is the first place that comes to mind as a possible destination.

Durrani is a Mason spinal surgeon accused of performing medically unnecessary surgeries then billing private and public healthcare benefit programs.

Durrani was previously indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts of making false statements in health care matters and five counts of health care fraud.

A superseding indictment was filed in October against Durrani, which adds 26 additional charges to the original ten charges.

The indictment alleges Durrani "would persuade the patient that surgery was the only option, when in fact the patient did not need surgery." It also accuses him of failing to inform the patient of complications, or misrepresenting the nature of those complications.

One of the counts alleges Durrani signed blank prescription pads and had others write the prescriptions for Oxycodone while he was out of the country.

Durrani owns a private practice called the Center for Advanced Spine Technologies (CAST) with offices in Evendale and Florence. The indictment states he's worked in the area as a spine surgeon since 2005.

Durrani appeared in court for an arraignment back in August and pleaded not guilty.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.