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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - A 46-year-old St. Charles County doctor has pleaded guilty to fraudulently billing Medicare for office visits when he was actually traveling outside the country.

Federal prosecutors say Dr. Khaled Hassan told Medicare he treated patients face-to-face on three occasions between March 2009 and December 2011 when he was actually overseas. The office visits involved prescription drug refills, with Hassan's nurses instead seeing the patients and providing previously signed prescription forms.

That led to a federal Drug Enforcement Administration investigation. Hassan faces up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each of the three felony counts. Sentencing is scheduled for April.

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