15 Indicted in $25 Million Workers' Comp Scam Spanning 4 Years

15 Southern California medical professionals have been indicted in relation to an alleged $25 million workers' compensation scheme that inadvertently led to a baby's death.

According to two Orange County grand jury indictments, 15 medical professionals, including pharmacists, chiropractors, physicians and the head of a workers' compensation claims management firm accepted bribes to prescribe a pain-relief concoction to patients. One such individual named in the indictment is the head of Landmark Medical Management and was a major campaign donor to President Barack Obama. He stands accused of hiring pharmacists to create a pain-relief cream and then paid out more than $25 million in kickbacks and bribes to have the cream dispensed to workers' comp patients. He is also accused of conspiring to submit false workers' compensation claims.

Insurance fraud and conspiracy are alleged in the 44-count indictment, which includes offenses allegedly committed from October 2009 through January 2013. Some individuals received as much as $8 million over the years, according to prosecutors.

3 medical professionals named in the indictments have also been charged with involuntary manslaughter, in relation to the death of a five-month-old boy who ingested some of the cream.

The baby's parents have also sued over their son's death. They have claimed that the mother was prescribed a cream for her back and knee pain that, according to the infant's autopsy report, contained the antidepressant Amitriptyline, the cough suppressant Dextromethorphan and the pain reliever Tylenol. The attorney for the parents has alleged that the mother applied the cream on herself and then held her son and allowed him to suck on her fingers to sooth him. She then made him a bottle. He was found unresponsive in bed the following morning, with tests showing he had ingested lethal doses of the cream. The attorney has also alleged that the mother was given no instructions or warnings when she was prescribed and given the cream and claimed that the mother's name was not on the medication.

In cases such as this, where medical professionals stand accused of fraud or malpractice, their careers, reputations and freedom may be on the line. Workers' compensation fraud, conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter are all extremely serious charges that may result in years in prison if the defendants are convicted. In these cases, it is crucial to immediately involve an attorney who can protect one's legal rights.

A competent Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can address all aspects of a criminal case of this magnitude, including media attention and professional repercussions, such as suspension or loss of license. Skilled defense counsel includes representation inside and outside of the criminal courtroom, and at Lessem & Newstat our clients can count on our tireless protection through every step of their cases. Call today to discuss your case and options.