California physician to pay $2.3M for illegal drug distribution

Santa Ana, Calif.-based physician Mohammed El-Nachef, MD, pleaded guilty to defrauding California's Medi-Cal system by prescribing medically unnecessary drugs to more than 1,000 patients, The Telegraph reported Sept. 28. 

He was ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution and surrender his medical license. 

From 2014 to 2016, Dr. El-Nachef prescribed unnecessary HIV medications, antipsychotics and opioids to patients at Los Angeles and Anaheim, Calif.-based clinics, the report said. The patients, who were Medi-Cal recipients, were recruited with cash payment promises and then illegally sold the drugs. 

Dr. El-Nachef was recruited to write unnecessary prescriptions and was paid in cash. He pleaded guilty to one count of insurance fraud and one count of aiding and abetting.

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