Marin Independent Journal

California surgeon charged in $52M sober living fraud

- The Associated Press

SANTA ANA » A Beverly Hills surgeon and his girlfriend have pleaded not guilty to taking part in a $52 million insurance fraud scheme that involved recruiting patients at Southern California sober living homes to undergo unnecessar­y surgeries and other procedures, prosecutor­s said Friday.

Dr. Randy Rosen and Liza Visamanos, both of Los Angeles, entered pleas Thursday in Orange County to a total of nearly 150 felony charges, the county district attorney’s office said in a statement.

Four other people also have been charged in connection with the alleged scheme.

Prosecutor­s said they hired “body brokers” to find and pay sober living facility patients to have unnecessar­y tests, cortisone shots and implants of Naltrexone, a drug that can reduce cravings for opioids and alchohol.

Insurance companies were then billed for the procedures, authoritie­s said.

“Vulnerable sober living patients who were trying desperatel­y to battle their addictions were treated like human guinea pigs just to make a buck,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said, calling the defendants “real-life Frankenste­ins.”

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