LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Opening remarks were made today during the federal trial of Burley Hills, a former weight loss doctor accused of participating in a $ 250 million fraudulent scheme involving 1-800-GET-THIN Lap-Band surgeries. .
Julian Omid, 53, from West Hollywood Մ Miralie Ar Arab, 59, from Burly Hills, has been charged with multiple federal charges for mail, wire fraud, false statements, money laundering, and identity theft stemming from GET THIN surgery. նի Sleep study programs. From May 2010 to March 2016, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
The indictment alleges the management of the surgery center, which is overseen by Omidi and his brother-in-law. Lap-Band is a silicone ring that is surgically placed around the stomach to avoid overeating.
Prosecutors allege that patients were harmed by the fraudulent scheme when they underwent unnecessary medical procedures, and that insurance services lost tens of millions of dollars after receiving fraudulent accounts.
Omid, a physician whose license was revoked in 2009, was partly in charge of the GET THIN network of companies, which focused on selectively performing Lap-Band weight loss surgeries.
Omidi prescribed procedures that would require future Lap-Band patients, even those covered by insurance plans, would never cover Lap-Band surgery, have at least one sleep study, և Employees were offered commissions to perform the studies. the indictment.
Ar Arabi is a doctor whose license is still good, according to the website of the State Medical Council.
The purpose of the sleep study was to find a second cause, such as sleep apnea, which GET THIN would use to persuade a patient insurance company to approve the Lap-Band procedure in advance, federal prosecutors say.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office claims that when patients have had sleep tests, often without any indication that any doctor has ever determined that the study is medically necessary. or severe sleep apnea, because they suffered from severe daytime sleepiness.
Omid was then forced to use these false sleep study reports to defend GET THIN’s Lap-Band surgery pre-authorization claims, according to the indictment.
Based on false sleep studies, as well as other false information, including patients’ height and weight, insurance companies have allegedly allowed to pay for some Lap-Band surgeries. According to the indictment, GET THIN received at least $ 38 million for Lap-Band procedures.
Even if the insurance company did not authorize the surgery, GET THIN was still able to pay $ 15,000 in bills for each sleep study, according to the indictment. Insurance premiums were credited to GET THIN-linked bank accounts, prosecutors said.
Federal prosecutors said the health benefit plans allegedly affected by the billing scam included TriCare, a health plan for uniformed employees, retirees and their families around the world, and various private insurance companies.
If convicted, Omidi faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the postal fraud cases mentioned in the indictment.
The trial may take two to three months.
The government has nearly 40 witnesses whom it intends to call, including two co-defendants, court papers show. According to the prosecution’s memorandum, Omidi’s lawyers provided a list of 96 witnesses, including the “dead patient”.
In their case, federal prosecutors allege that ar arabic allowed his e-signature to be used by GET THIN to show that he was reviewing fake sleep studies, even though he knew the reports were changing. Alleged Arab also allegedly demanded payment for the use of his electronic signature on hundreds of prescriptions for sleep apnea.
“Omid” fell victim to countless patients when they allegedly underwent unnecessary medical treatment to make tens of millions of dollars in profits, “said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in his indictment.
“Fraud of medical suppliers is a multibillion-dollar problem that raises health insurance premiums and creates an outflow to our economy,” he said.
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