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Seattle man to change plea in Medicare fraud case

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- A Seattle doctor accused of turning in phony Medicare claims that included nursing home visits to patients who were dead says he will plead guilty.

John C. Chen is charged in federal court with six counts, including health care fraud and false statements related to health care.

The case is being heard in North Dakota because Fargo-based Noridian Healthcare Solutions LLC processes and pays Medicare Part B claims in Washington state.

Authorities say Chen submitted 673 claims for medical services in the Seattle and Tacoma, Wash., area from 2007 through 2010, when he allegedly was out of the country.

Chen's lawyer, Robert Flennaugh II, filed a change of plea notice Wednesday night. Flennaugh was not immediately available for comment.

A change of plea and sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.