ATTORNEY AND ACCOUNTANT INDICTED IN LARGEST MEDICAL INSURANCE FRAUD CASE IN THE NATION

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 08ZF0025


 


June 27, 2008

Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

ATTORNEY AND ACCOUNTANT INDICTED IN LARGEST MEDICAL INSURANCE FRAUD CASE IN THE NATION

 

SANTA ANA – The California Department of Insurance and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) announced today the unsealing of criminal grand jury indictments in the largest medical fraud prosecution in the nation, charging the final two defendants for their role in the Unity Outpatient Surgery Center (Unity) scheme, in which $154 million was fraudulently billed to medical insurance companies. The Orange County Grand Jury dedicated 28 days to examining 1,054 exhibits and hearing testimony from 56 witnesses, resulting in the 70-page indictment of two previously uncharged defendants, an attorney and an accountant. The Grand Jury also indicted 11 previously charged defendants, who were also consolidated into the indictment, including three doctors. The Franchise Tax Board under the Supervision of the State Controller provided substantial assistance in this investigation.

 

Defendant Roy Chester Dickson, 60, Yorba Linda, Unity’s attorney, was indicted on 106 felony charges including two counts of conspiracy, eight counts of capping or paying for referrals, 30 counts of grand theft, 30 counts of insurance fraud, 30 counts of making false and fraudulent claims, one count of money laundering, one count of perjury, three counts of filing a false tax return, one count of failing to file tax returns, and white collar sentencing enhancements for taking over $2.5 million and $500,000. Dickson is being held on $2 million bail and faces a maximum sentence of 73 years and eight months in prison if convicted.

 

Defendant Andrew Robert Harnen, 54, Rosemead, Unity’s accountant, was indicted on 118 felony charges including two counts of conspiracy, eight counts of capping or paying for referrals, 30 counts of grand theft, 30 counts of insurance fraud, 30 counts of making false and fraudulent claims, one count of money laundering, nine counts of filing a false tax return, nine counts of failing to file tax returns, and white collar sentencing enhancements for taking over $2.5 million. Harnen is being held on $2 million bail and faces a maximum sentence of 80 years and four months in prison if convicted.

 

Including Dickson and Harnen, 19 defendants have been charged in the Unity case. Of the originally charged 17 defendants, six have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. This indictment consolidates and joins the remaining 11 defendants. Deputy District Attorneys George McFetridge and Rick Welsh of the Healthcare Insurance Fraud Unit are prosecuting this case.

 

All of the indicted defendants are scheduled for continued arraignment July 10, 2008, at 8:30 a.m., in Department C-4, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

“This indictment alleges a medical fraud factory operating an assembly line of unnecessary surgeries,” said Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.  “We will continue working collaboratively with our local partners to attack these types of ruthless, wickedly complex schemes that tear at our communities and take money out of our pocket books.”

 

“The attorney and the accountant are the arteries that pumped the blood into the different appendages of the criminal body called Unity. We believe it is appropriate to end the charging phase of the case with these two defendants,” said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.  “The $154 million fraud committed by operating on thousands of so-calle