A Studio City man was among 11 people arrested for their roles in a potentially dangerous medical treatment fraud. Authorities charged four doctors, two treatment facility employees and five others with conspiracy and fraud. They allege the doctors performed unnecessary surgeries to implant an experimental drug treatment in addiction patients.
According to investigators, the treatment facility owner and employee recruited recovering drug addicts. Doctors implanted a non-approved naltrexone “pellet” into the patients to manage symptoms of opioid addiction. The facility then billed insurance companies nearly $7 million in fees for the unauthorized, unapproved treatments. The facility owner used recovering drug addicts to recruit other addicts as patients.
The FDA has approved naltrexone in pill and injection form, but has not approved an implant for use in humans. Authorities say the unauthorized surgeries could have caused infections and allergic reactions among the patients. In addition, naltrexone is not effective for some types of addictions.
Investigators say the doctors, including a Rancho Palos Verdes resident, performed the surgeries for profit. In many cases, investigators say the doctors did not conduct proper medical exams before recommending the procedure. The treatment facility billed insurance companies an average of $40,000 per procedure. Based on the billing records, authorities believe the ring successfully targeted nearly 200 addicts before authorities intervened. The conspiracy operated largely in Orange County, which has seen significant growth in addiction treatment facilities. If convicted, the conspirators face between 10 and 43 years in state prison.
Studio City Fraud Lawyer
When you face fraud charges, hire an experienced fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. For professionals, fraud allegations are very serious. In addition to jail time, a fraud conviction can result in the loss of your professional licensure.
His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work toward the best possible resolution for your case. Mr. Helfend manages each case personally, so you will work directly with him on your defense.
Don’t assume that the prosecution’s case is strong, and don’t assume that you have no defense options. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273- 5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County fraud case.