Dr. No Good?
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced the arrests of three medical doctors who allegedly traded their professional oaths for quick cash.
Michael Cheeluen Chan, 61, Mario Z. Rosenberg, 59, and William Wilson Hampton, 51, now face 47 felony counts and, if convicted, could go to prison for 49 years for their roles in a massive insurance fraud scheme, according to the DA's office. After their early morning arrests, all three doctors were transported to the Orange County Jail. Bail ranges from $1 million for Hampton to $2.3 million for Rosenberg.
"It is unfathomable that a doctor would treat patients as if they were bodies on a medical conveyor belt for a quick buck," Rackauckas told reporters. "Doctors need to know that if they commit insurance fraud they may be trading in their scrubs for prison jumpsuits."
The arrests are only the latest move in three-year DA investigation into a complex scheme by Unity surgery centers that attempted to swindle more than $100 million a year. A probe found that the medical clinics illegally paid cappers to find patients. Those patients underwent unnecessary surgeries that were then billed at high rates to insurance carriers.
For example, Rackauckas highlighted the activities of Dr. Rosenberg, who billed multiple insurers for 30 surgeries he claimed he performed in a single day. On another weekend, he claimed he performed 22 operations on a Saturday and 22 more on a Sunday.
"We cannot tolerate lining up people in a medical assembly line and treating human bodies like cash registers," said Rackauckas, who says he's determined to unravel more white collar crime scams. "We are just scratching the surface."
Dr. Hampton graduated from Central University of the East School of Medicine in 1980. In January 2006, the Medical Board of California cited Hampton for failing to report that he'd been arrested for a felony.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts