Thursday, December 9, 2021

Calabasas Anesthesiologist gets 14 months in prison for accepting bribes

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On Friday, a court sentenced Calabasas Dr. Amir Friedman to 14 months in federal prison for accepting $788,140 in bribes and kickbacks in a conspiracy to defraud insurance companies.

In October 2019, Friedman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act, a federal law that forbids using the U.S mail to aid bribery, and conspiracy to commit honest services mail and wire fraud.

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From August 2013 to May 2015, Friedman, Beverly Hills-based New Age Pharmaceuticals Inc. and an unnamed marketer conspired to violate federal law.

New Age received reimbursements from insurance companies under the California Workers’ Compensation System for the drugs and other pharmaceuticals while the unnamed marketer received commissions for facilitating the exchanges. The unnamed marketer provided pre-printed prescription pads to Friedman, after which New Age would bill the insurance companies for the drugs.

Friedman received 28 checks totaling almost $800,000 after he prescribed compounded medication to his patients. During the trial, Friendman admitted he knew the prescriptions cost more than the alternatives.

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Compounded drugs are custom products doctors may prescribe when the Food and Drug Administration-approved alternative does not meet the health needs of a patient.

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