By Matt Coker
By R. Scott Moxley
By Charles Lam
By Nick Schou
By Gustavo Arellano
By Gustavo Arellano
By Steve Lowery
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Then Anderson claimed Mogel turned to his computer and pulled up an amateurish-looking website for a company called Form Labs, which advertised web-design services for a fee of $25,000 without even naming any current clients. “This is Mikey’s company,” Anderson says Mogel told him. Mogel then explained that “Mikey” was a guy he had met on an airplane who could “lift 2,100 pounds in a triple lift” and who had on his “payroll” a person with a “senior-level position” in the Santa Ana Police Department. “He told me that if I ever get into trouble in the jurisdiction of Santa Ana, don’t call a lawyer, call him first because he can have Mikey get me out of any trouble that I get into,” Anderson stated in his sworn deposition.
Despite the fact that IHHI already had a contract with another firm to develop the company’s website, Anderson stated that Mogel instructed him to draw up a $10,000 check to Form Labs. Mogel insisted that Anderson hand-deliver to him the check so Mogel could send it to Form Labs immediately. Anderson says his suspicion that the payment might have something to do with humbling Fitzgibbons was confirmed when, on another occasion—Anderson could not recall the exact date—Mogel made a strange boast about Fitzgibbons being arrested. “People don’t know how powerful I am,” he claims Mogel told him.
Callahan & Blaine’s Miles also deposed Mogel and his lending partner, Lampariello of Medical Capital. It was Medical Capital’s high-interest-rate, $50 million loan to IHHI that had led Fitzgibbons to send the May 2005 e-mail, which, in turn, led to him being sued for slander by IHHI. Miles uncovered e-mails showing that Mogel and Lampariello had taken an unusual interest in providing a $5 million loan to an Internet-porn company called E Mark Advertising Inc., whose vice president is also listed on corporate paperwork for Form Labs. The company is headquartered in a small house in East Los Angeles, despite documents asserting it was housed in a state-of-the-art facility with hand-scanner security (see “New Complications In the IHHI Saga,” July 29).
Shortly after Miles began asking questions about E Mark, IHHI settled its lawsuit with Shah for $2.7 million and Mogel abruptly resigned, although, thanks to his December 2008 severance package, he’s still earning $40,000 per month.
On June 6 of this year, the SEC sued Medical Capital for defrauding investors—the alleged fraud supposedly included using their cash to, among other things, purchase a multimillion-dollar party yacht in Newport Beach—and froze the company’s assets.
According to Miles, the FBI is also investigating Mogel and Lampariello. “A special agent from the FBI came into our office to interview us with respect to issues concerning IHHI, Bruce Mogel and Medical Capital,” he says. “The FBI is concerned with whether the payment to Form Labs constitutes Medicare fraud.”
As the Weekly previously reported, e-mails sent to Form Labs were responded to by someone calling him- or herself “administrator” who refused to answer any questions about IHHI or Mogel. “By the direction of our attorneys, it is advised that we minimize contact by withholding names and telephone conversations until the matter is investigated further or resolved,” the person wrote.
Both Mogel and Anderson have refused repeated requests for an interview, citing pending litigation and confidentiality clauses. However, in a statement he released to the Weekly last year, Mogel proclaimed his innocence. “I want everyone to know the allegations in this lawsuit are outrageous and untrue,” he said. “The truth will come out.”
Meanwhile, thanks to IHHI’s legal and financial troubles, it has been years since any significant upgrades have occurred at its hospitals. “A lot of problems we were complaining about four years ago are still there,” says one doctor who asked not to be identified. “Nobody asked these people to come and run the hospital. They have dug themselves into a multimillion-dollar hole and have shown a willingness to sue anyone who criticizes them. They don’t have to win in court; all they need to do is force you to lose $100,000 a year defending yourself, and they’ve won.”
Despite having won a multimillion-dollar judgement against IHHI, Shah says he still awaits justice. “I could write a 500-page book about IHHI and how bad they were to Fitzgibbons and me,” he says. “We exposed Bruce Mogel and Joey Lampariello, but the government hasn’t really done anything.” Shah remains amazed at the details of Anderson’s sworn statement about Mogel’s bizarre tirade. “There are guys at the company who supported Mogel when Fitzgibbons was set up, and Bruce threatened to kidnap me and my daughter. The doctors are afraid to talk about this. And meanwhile, this company spent $8 million in its lawsuit against me, a physician who helped create this company, instead of spending it on new equipment or maintaining the hospital.”