Dr. Nicholas Caro, a Chicago ophthalmologist who has been sued almost 50 times for medical malpractice, has now been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly taking more than $180,000 from his employees’ pension fund.
The indictment charges Caro with embezzlement and mail fraud. He is alleged to have taken pension fund money and deposited it in his own or his wife’s bank accounts, using the money for personal purposes. The indictment also charges Caro with falsely reporting information about the fund’s assets to his employees and the Department of Labor. He pleaded not guilty and was released without bail.
In 2010, Caro was determined to have engaged in gross negligence and unprofessional conduct by the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. He was barred from performing Lasik eye surgery in the state of Illinois. He was fined $10,000, had his medical license suspended and was put on probation for three years.
In 2009, the Chicago Tribune reported that Caro had been sued for medical malpractice nearly 50 times. Lasik is an elective eye surgery intended to improve the patient’s vision, reducing reliance on glasses or contacts. Caro has said that he performed the procedure more than 25,000 times in 25 years and that medical malpractice lawsuits are common for elective procedures. However, according to Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Co., approximately 75 percent of specialists who have been practicing 25 years or more have been sued for malpractice fewer than four times.