Orange County (California) District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has announced several felony charges have been filed against a local Southern California couple in a worker’s compensation insurance scam worth around $40 million.
The DA attests that Christopher and Tanya King are “accused of victimizing more than 13,000 patients and collecting over $23 million.”
The office of the district attorney alleges that the Kings used their companies—Monarch Medical Group, King Medical Management, and One Source Laboratories—to recruit doctors and pharmacists who will prescribe unnecessary treatments for patients under worker’s compensation orders. to recruit doctors and pharmacists to prescribe unnecessary treatments for workers’ compensation patients. The deal was that these medical professionals would receive financial kickbacks from the profits.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones states, “The Kings and their co-conspirators played with patients’ lives, buying and selling them for profit without regard to patient safety. Patients have the right to expect treatment decisions by health care professionals are based on medical need and not unadulterated greed. The magnitude of this alleged crime is an affront to ethical medical professionals.”
Rackauckas announced that these charges have actually been filed against a total of 26 people. This includes 21 doctors. In just one of the many schemes, the alleged couple worked with Charles Bonner and Mervyn Miller, who own Steven’s Pharmacy in Costa Mesa, CA.
According to the office of the district attorney, the pharmacy produced various creams that had not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Essentially, the Kings bought these unapproved creams—allegedly–for $15 to $40 and then would bill insurance carriers between $250 and $700.
Rackauckas comments, “We’ve all been appalled to see huge medical bills that appear to be out of proportion to the services and products provided.”
Furthermore, Jones continues, “If you’re ripping off insurance companies and consumers and employers and ultimately putting patients here at risk, we’re going to come after you.” He adds that officials hope these charges will send a message to those who may pursue similar avenues of crime. After all, any who may have participated in this scheme could receive upwards of 117 years in prison if convicted.