A former Beverly Hills surgeon who fled the country with his wife following mail fraud and insurance fraud charges has a new problem:identity theft charges. According to federal prosecutors, the man misrepresented elective medical treatments as necessities to collect insurance payments for patients.
Following his conviction on mail fraud and other charges, the man and his wife liquidated their assets, obtained fake passports and fled to Israel. The couple entered the country using Mexican passports, but then assumed false Guatemalan citizenship.
According to prosecutors, the man performed unnecessary surgeries on patients, then billed their insurance companies, collecting millions of dollars in fees. In some cases, patients were left disfigured and with disabilities.
The doctor pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 2016 and surrendered his passport to the court. He also agreed not to travel outside the United States. Afterwards, he and his wife transferred ownership of their home to a front company, which then sold it. They also transferred millions of dollars to Israeli bank accounts. Federal authorities believe the couple fled about six weeks before an IRS agent discovered that the couple’s home had been abandoned.
Initially, prosecutors sought a 51-month sentence for the man. The judge in the case sentenced him in absentia to the maximum of 20 years. Israeli authorities arrested and deported the wife in mid 2019. They deported the man in December 2019. US Marshals returned the man to Los Angeles to begin serving a 20-year sentence. His wife now faces charges of aggravated identity theft, fraud and contempt of court. She is in custody awaiting trial.
Los Angeles identity theft attorney
When you face federal charges for identity-related crimes, hire an experienced identity theft lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes federal cases in any US District Court. He also takes state-level cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Federal prosecutors are very aggressive and very persistent. When you face federal charges, your best defense strategy involves hiring an aggressive criminal defense attorney to represent you in court.
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 identity theft case.
Photo Credit: John Lamb, via Flickr.com