A Delaware County podiatrist is one of 301 individuals charged in a nationwide Medicare-fraud bust spanning 36 federal districts and involving approximately $900 million in fraudulent payments.

Stephen A. Monaco, 59, of Broomall, was charged with submitting $5 million in false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and four private insurers through his Havertown practice, A Foot Above Podiatry, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger announced Wednesday.

Between 2008 and 2014, prosecutors say, Monaco submitted claims for procedures that did not take place, and procedures that were medically unnecessary and therefore not reimbursable by Medicare and other insurance companies.

Monaco could face up to 10 years in prison and $5 million in restitution if convicted.

Wednesday's bust was the largest Medicare fraud takedown in U.S. history in both the number of defendants and the amount of money lost, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

"The wrongdoers that we pursue in these operations seek to use public funds for private enrichment," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. "They target real people – many of them in need of significant medical care. They promise effective cures and therapies, but they provide none. Above all, they abuse basic bonds of trust."

The effort was led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, with assistance from Medicaid Fraud Control Units in 23 states.

jchadha@philly.com

215-854-4524 @janakichadha