15 sentenced in $40M fraud, physician kickback scheme 

Fifteen people were sentenced in connection with a $40 million insurance scam in California in which a telemarketing company pushed prescriptions and medical devices to patients. 

Between 2015 and 2020, defendants operated an illicit call center, durable medical device company and six pharmacies in Southern California in which they targeted patients and billed for fraudulent prescriptions, according to a Jan. 30 news release from the Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney. 

The scheme involved purchasing pharmacies and turning them into pain cream and medical device mills that filled prescriptions, which were then signed by physicians who received thousands of dollars in kickbacks. The physicians rarely met with or spoke to the patients, the release said.  

At least five insurance companies were defrauded of around $40 million. The defendants were ordered to pay more than $8.3 million combined in restitution.

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