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A Beverly Hills, California, workers compensation doctor pleaded guilty to two felony counts of billing fraud for selling marked-up goods to his practice from his own medical supply company over several years and has been ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.
Dr. Gil Tepper was accused of submitted fraudulent invoices from 2006 to 2014 with inflated prices for medical supplies purchased by his practice, Miracle Mile Medical Center, from another company he owned, Metalink Distributors Inc., the office said Wednesday in a statement.
Under the terms of a negotiated plea agreement, Dr. Tepper, who pleaded guilty Feb. 6, “is permanently disqualified from being a provider in the workers compensation system and is prohibited from operating any physician-owned medical supply distribution company,” according to the statement.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge also ordered Dr. Tepper to pay more than $1.7 million in restitution to nine insurance companies who were overbilled for the medical supplies. The defendant also was sentenced to six months of electronic monitoring and must complete 300 hours of community service, according to the statement.
About $1.1 million in restitution will be paid from Dr. Tepper’s frozen funds and he must pay the remaining amount by sentencing on Jan. 28, 2020. If Dr. Tepper doesn’t comply with the terms of the plea agreement, he faces a possible maximum sentence of six years in state prison, according to the statement.
His co-defendant, Jorge Antonio Vital, is charged with eight counts of workers comp insurance fraud and one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime and attempted perjury under oath, all felonies. A pre-preliminary hearing for Mr. Vital is scheduled for Feb. 19, according to the district attorney’s office.
Efforts to identify and prosecute provider fraud in the California workers compensation system is likely having an impact in both reducing such payments and lowering their associated costs, according to a new report.