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Saturday, Jun 3, 2023

Three Convicted in Glendale Medicare Fraud

Three people connected to a Glendale medical clinic were found guilty Tuesday of a $20 million scheme to defraud Medicare and Medi-Cal. The scheme included fraudulently prescribing expensive anti-psychotic medications and then re-billing the government for those drugs over and over. U.S. District Judge S. James Otero, who presided over the three-week trial, said “the scope of the fraud was breathtaking.” The operators of Manor Medical Imaging in Glendale operated a clinic authorized to make claims to Medicare and Medi-Cal, but employed an unlicensed medical practitioner to write bogus prescriptions using a doctor’s name and license number. Dr. Kenneth Johnson of Ladera Heights served as the face of the clinic; Nuritsa Grigoryan of Glendale pretended to be a doctor and filled out the fraudulent prescriptions; and Artak Ovsepian of Tujunga acquired drugs at pharmacies using the fake prescriptions. The three were convicted of health care fraud conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to misbrand pharmaceutical drugs and false statements to the federal government. The judge is scheduled to sentence the defendants in June. All three face a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in federal prison, while they could face up to 30 years.

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