An orthopedic surgeon, his lawyer, another doctor, and 12 other defendants (15 in total) have been charged in a California health-care fraud conspiracy in Los Angeles. This past Thursday, Los Angeles county prosecutors handed down indictments for Dr. Munir Uwaydah and the associates who helped cover his illicit activity. The conspiracy ring is alleged to have prescribed unnecessary expensive medications, billed two-minute doctor’s appointments as hour-long examinations, and doctored MRI results and medical records to justify unnecessary operations. It is also alleged that Dr. Uwaydah allowed his physician’s assistant, Peter Nelson, to perform surgeries at an Orange County hospital in 2005. Dr. Uwaydah’s medical license was revoked two years ago after several earlier allegations.
The conspiracy ring is estimated to have cheated insurance companies out of $150 million. It is described as one of the largest health-care schemes in state history. Uwaydah and Nelson are charged with 21 counts of aggravated mayhem — each for a different patient. The District Attorney stated that this is a vast underestimation of the hundreds of procedures that Nelson performed. Nelson is being held on a $21 million bail. The office manager, Kelly Soo Park, 49, is also being held on $18.5 million bail in the fraud case for her involvement in hiding Uwaydah’s money from investigators.
Health Care Fraud in California