Doctors, staff members and the owner of a North Hollywood clinic have been charged with orchestrating a multimillion-dollar scheme to recruit mentially ill transients for unnecessary treatments. The City Attorney's Office said RSB Medical Group brought in patients by van for abdominal ultrasounds and blood tests and paid them $100. An estimated $5 million in procedures were billed to Medicare and Medi-Cal.
Dr. Rodney Stephen Barron, 58, and Dr. Eleanor Santiago Arthur, 72, were arrested and are scheduled to appear in court. Artur Vic Manasarian, the owner of the clinic, faces charges in a separate federal healthcare fraud case. Four clinic workers were also charged.
All face seven charges of conspiracy, making fraudulent claims for health care benefits, making referrals for profit and taking illegal kickbacks. If convicted, each could face up to seven years in jail. Prosecutors are also seeking more than $5 million in restitution.
The complaint alleges that the defendants, operating out of RSB Medical Group Inc., at 11755 Victory Blvd., employed individuals identified only as "Rick" or "Ronnie" to recruit Medicare and Medi-Cal patients. Rick would frequent a day-center for the mentally ill and homeless in Long Beach and bring the patients to the clinic. After the procedures were done, the patients were paid $100.
When Medicare stopped paying on some claims in June 2010, the defendants closed some offices at the location and opened others under a different name to keep generating claims, according to investigators. During the investigation, doctors saw 30 to 50 patients daily between December 2009 and June 2010. The state medical board is looking into revoking Barron's and Arthur's medical licenses.
If you have been charged with healthcare fraud, you will need a skilled federal healthcare fraud criminal defense lawyer to develop a strategy for your defense. Attorneys Michael A. Goldstein and James A. Goldstein have been successfully representing clients on federal criminal charges for over 30 years. Medicare, medi-cal, and healthcare fraud are serious federal crimes that must be handled in the proper legal manner to avoid dire legal consequences. If you have been charged or under investigation for medicare or medi-cal fraud, it is important that you contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Contact us for a free consultation 24/7.