Evanston podiatrist charged with obstructing justice

Evan Hessel and Evan Hessel

Evanston podiatrist charged with obstructing justice

After preliminary judicial proceedings on Monday, U.S. District Court decided to hold without bond an Evanston podiatrist being investigated in connection with Medicare fraud and the murder of a former patient.

Ronald Mikos was arrested Feb. 5 and charged with obstructing justice by encouraging former patients to lie to federal investigators about charges that he billed about $1 million in false claims to Medicare. One of the patients Mikos allegedly asked to lie was Joyce Brannon, 54, who was murdered Jan. 27 in her Chicago apartment, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

During Monday’s preliminary proceedings, the district court determined that probable cause existed, that a crime was committed and that Mikos will appear at future hearings, according to Randall Sanborn, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office. No future hearings have been scheduled yet.

Mikos has not been charged with murder, but the investigation is ongoing, Sanborn said.

The criminal complaint against Mikos alleges that he billed Medicare for 87 surgical procedures he said he performed on Brannon’s feet. She told federal agents that Mikos had trimmed her toenails and operated on her large toes but did not perform 87 surgeries, according to the press release.

Brannon was served with a federal grand jury subpoena in early January requiring her to testify Jan. 31.

The complaint alleges Brannon had told a friend that Mikos had said her testimony could ruin his medical practice, and that she could say she forgot the exact procedures. Mikos’ cellular phone records also indicate that he made calls to other patients who had been subpoenaed before a federal jury, according to the press release.

The criminal complaint also states that officers from the Skokie Police Department seized several weapons from Mikos on Jan. 6, including a .22 caliber revolver. Police confiscated the weapons because Mikos’ Firearms Owner’s Identification Card had expired.

Skokie police returned the weapons to Mikos on Jan. 24 after he had been issued a new owner’s identification card.

The complaint indicates someone entered Brannon’s apartment Jan. 27 and fired six shots from a .22 caliber automatic revolver into her back and head, killing her.