August 23, 2017

26 CA Docs, Pharmacists & Biz Owners Charged in $40 Million WC Kickback Scheme

Orange County, CA – Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas recently announced the shutdown of a $40 million fraudulent medical billing and kickback operation with the filing of charges against more than two dozen doctors, pharmacists and business owners.

Tanya Moreland King, 37, and her husband Christopher King, 38, both of Beverly Hills, own medical billing and medical management companies Monarch Medical Group, Inc., King Medical Management, Inc. and One Source Laboratoires, Inc. The defendants are accused of masterminding a complex insurance fraud scheme of recruiting doctors and pharmacists to prescribe unnecessary treatment for workers’ compensation insurance patients.

Irvine pharmacists Charles Bonner, RPh., 56, and Mervyn Miller, RPh., 66, both owners of Steven’s Pharmacy, are accused of conspiring with Christopher and Tanya King by selling more than $1 million in compound creams that were not FDA approved nor have known medical benefits.

“The Kings and their co-conspirators played with patients’ lives, buying and selling them for profit without regard to patient safety,” said Commissioner Dave Jones. “Patients have the right to expect treatment decisions by health care professionals are based on medical need and not unadulterated greed. The magnitude of this alleged crime is an affront to ethical medical professionals.”

“The Orange County District Attorney’s Office will continue to be a leader in the state in prosecuting these types of crimes, because they affect the health of our economy and wellness of our bodies,” stated OCDA Rackauckas. “In order for the system to survive, we must have ethical doctors who abide by their Hippocratic Oath to ‘do no harm.’ The intent of many of the laws surrounding the insurance industry is to keep the three Ps – Physician – Patients – and Profit separate. We have a track record of putting these types of fraudsters behind bars for a long time and we intend to do just that again,” Rackauckas concluded.

From 2011 to 2015, the defendants are charged for their part in the fraudulent scheme of billing for unnecessary creams, tests and treatments to maximize profits. More than 13,000 patients and at least 27 insurance carriers were victims in the scheme. The California Department of Insurance led the investigation with assistance from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Approximately $23.2 million was paid out to the defendants, but a total of $40 million was billed to insurers.

Source: CDI

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