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Surgeon from South Barrington gets 10 months in Medicare case

CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago surgeon has been sentenced to 10 months in federal custody after a jury found him guilty of exaggerating the complexity of operations he performed in reports related to Medicare benefits.

A federal judge in Chicago on Wednesday ordered 63-year-old John Natale of South Barrington to begin serving his sentence Nov. 1.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer also imposed a fine of $40,000 and ordered Natale to perform community service.

Pallmeyer says the surgeon intended to collect unearned money from Medicare. Natale's weeklong trial in May focused on surgeries he performed in 2003 and 2004 on patients at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.

Two phone numbers listed for Natale have been disconnected. A message left at a third telephone number wasn't immediately returned.

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