Former San Diego CEO convicted of healthcare fraud through state workers’ compensation system

Flag of the Department of Justice in Washington. Photo file

The former CEO of several Southern California medical imaging companies was convicted Friday by a federal jury in San Diego for orchestrating a scheme in which more than $ 250 million in medical service claims were fraudulently submitted by through the state workers compensation system.

Sam Sarkis Solakyan, 40, of Glendale, was convicted of running a ‘cross-referral’ program in which doctors received money or new patient referrals in exchange for the referral of patients in compensation. accidents at work, according to Department of Justice.

Prosecutors say the patients were referred to Solakyan’s companies for treatments that were billed to insurance companies. The defendants then entered into “various fictitious deals” to cover up the true nature of the bribes and kickbacks, such as contracts for various services such as marketing, administrative services and planning.

The DOJ said Solakyan recruiters require doctors to refer a minimum number of patients in order to receive money and / or “cross-references.” If the doctors did not meet the quota, the bribes and dismissals stopped.

Solakyan was the CEO of the San Diego MRI Institute and also operated diagnostic imaging facilities statewide, including in the Bay Area, as well as in San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange counties, said the DOJ.

After an eight-day trial, he was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit honest services postal fraud and healthcare fraud and 11 counts of postal fraud from honest services. Solakyan faces a legal maximum sentence of 240 years in federal prison when sentenced on Oct. 4 before U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant, according to the Justice Department.

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