Doctor Charged in $150 Million Healthcare Fraud Scheme Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy

An anesthesiologist charged along with 24 other entities in a massive fraud scheme has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud. Amir Friedman’s plea agreement was accepted by the Centra District of California federal court on October 21, and will see him return for sentencing on April 6th. He was accused of receiving almost $800,000 in kickbacks for prescribing pharmaceuticals, conspiring with a pharmacy owner and a marketer to commit honest services mail and wire fraud. The pharmacy owner and several unindicted co-conspirators controlled several pharmacies, including Beverly Hills’ New Age Pharmaceuticals, the compounding pharmacy whose owner had previously been charged in a fraudulent billing scheme that targeted government programs, including the California workers’ compensation system, netting over $900 million in fraudulent billings. That case is scheduled to go to trial November 26th. As the New Age Pharmaceuticals case is still pending and the outcome stands to have a significant impact on other cases and claims, related liens should not be litigated or settled until the trial concludes.