Dr. Hamada Makarita was convicted of health care fraud, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy and five counts of illegally distributing narcotics Friday.
The verdict, from a federal jury of the U.S District Court in Alexandria, comes after a seven-day trial in which both the defense and prosecution painted the trial as one about abuse of power. While the government argued it was the Oakton dentist who abused his power, the defense pointed the blame back at the government for abusing its power.
"This was an abuse of power, drugs, and women," U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride of the Eastern District of Virginia said in a statement. "Dr. Makarita's arrogance led him to believe that he could illegally distribute highly addictive drugs to others and get away with it."
But the case may be long from over, as Makarita's defense lawyers expect to file an appeal.
"The issues involved in this case are extremely important. Doctors across the country are following its developments," said Allan Robertson, who helped represent Makarita along with James Tate and Douglas Bywater of the Vienna firm Tate, Bywater and Fuller. "We expect to file an appeal at the appropriate time."
Makarita, 51, faced charges of The dentist, who owns a practice on Chain Bridge Road in Oakton, pleaded not guilty to the charges in June.
The jury found Makarita guilty of conspiracy, health care fraud, aggravated identity theft and five counts of dispensing controlled substances. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on the health care fraud charge, 20 years in prison for conspiracy and each dispensing controlled substances charge, and a consecutive two-year sentence for the aggravated identity theft charge, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
He was accused of illegally distributing narcotics to employees and two women he dated between 2007 and 2012 "without a legitimate dental purpose and beyond the bounds of a dental practice." Makarita was also accused of submitting insurance claims under another doctor's name for work he performed on his parents to receive more than $91,000 in reimbursements.
Makarita's sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 15.
- Dentist Trial: Lawyers Present Closing Arguments
- Dentist Trial: Makarita Takes the Stand
- Dentist Trial: Defense Attacks Former Employee's Credibility
- Dentist Trial: Experts Begin Testimony for Prosecution
- Dentist Trial: Both Sides Argue Abuse of Power
- Oakton Dentist Pleads Not Guilty
- Grand Jury Indicts Oakton Dentist on 15 Charges
- Accused Dentist Says Witness Is Fired Employee
- Oakton Dentist Arrested for Distributing Narcotics