Owner of 3 California medical clinics admits paying kickbacks to patient recruiters

Hovik Simitian, the owner and operator of three medical clinics in Los Angeles, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to submitting more than $4.5 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare, according to the Department of Justice.

Mr. Simitian owned and operated the following clinics in Los Angeles: Columbia Medical Group, Life Care Medical Clinic and Safe Health Medical Clinic.

Mr. Simitian admitted that from February 2010 through June 2014, he and his co-conspirators paid cash kickbacks to patient recruiters who brought Medicare beneficiaries to the clinics. In addition, Mr. Simitian admitted he and his co-conspirators billed Medicare for lab tests and others services that either were not medically necessary or were not actually provided to the Medicare beneficiaries.

Mr. Simitian pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud on Tuesday, and his sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 16.

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