A Newport Beach radiologist accused by prosecutors of being a "medical mill mastermind" had the 884 criminal counts against him dismissed.
But those same prosecutors say they plan to re-file the case against 61-year-old Dr. Sim Carlisle Hoffman and at least one of his co-defendants.
Orange County Superior Court Judge William Froberg dismissed the charges stemming from an alleged $17 million workers' compensation insurance over-billing scheme on Dec. 13, after finding evidence had been withheld from the grand jury that indicted Hoffman in May 2011.
The indictment had accused Hoffman, owner of Advanced Professional Imaging (API), Advanced Management Services (AMS), and Better Sleeping Medical Center (BSMC) in Buena Park, of running a "medical mill" for the sole purpose of insurance over-billing without providing any legitimate treatment to any patients.
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District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones originally announced the hundreds and hundreds of charges against Hoffman, BSMC neurologist Dr. Michael Heric of Malibu, Hoffman's administrator Beverly Mitchell of Westlake Village and API billing collector Louis Santillan of Chino Hills.
But the defense claimed it had evidence from experts in medical-billing who said the defendants and their companies did nothing improper, evidence that should have also been presented to the grand jury. Froberg agreed.
Deputy District Attorney Shaddi Kamiabipour reportedly told the Daily Pilot that she plans to re-file the case around mid-January, at which time the $17-million allegation could be bumped up higher and Santillan and Mitchell may be dropped from the case.