Beverly Hills surgeon and his girlfriend plead guilty to $676 million insurance fraud scheme
A Beverly Hills surgeon and his girlfriend who built their fortunes on vulnerable addicts during their recovery pleaded guilty Friday to a million-dollar medical insurance policy.
dr. Randy Rosen and Liza Vismanos are known for paying patients from several sober Southern California homes to participate in medically unnecessary implant surgeries and to take cortisone injections as part of their schedule.
The tagged pair teamed up to defraud insurance companies out of about $676 million for unnecessary medical procedures and drug testing of patients they recruited into their offices until they were arrested in 2020. At the time of their arrest, they were receiving $52 million from the insurance companies.
Rosen pleaded guilty on Aug. 12 to filing fraudulent medical insurance claims with an improvement in white-collar crime and faces 10 years behind bars, according to The OC Register. The surgeon was released from several other dismissed charges.
Meanwhile, Vismanos pleaded guilty to medical insurance fraud and dropped several other charges. She is under house arrest.
“This is the highest prison sentence for a service provider in a California employee insurance fraud,” the Orange County District Attorney said in a statement. ‘Dr. Rosen used vulnerable sober patients desperately trying to fight their demons as an ATM to make money. He didn’t care about his patients; he just wanted to make as much money as possible’
dr. Randy Rosen and his girlfriend Liza Vismanos pleaded guilty to stealing millions for insurance companies. Both were arrested and charged in May 2020 with paying vulnerable patients from frugal Southern California homes to participate in medically unnecessary implant surgeries and take cortisone injections as part of an extensive fraud scam.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said, “Dr. Rosen used vulnerable sober patients desperately trying to fight their demons as an ATM to make money.’
Rosen headed the Wellness Wave surgical center, while Vismanos headed the Lotus Laboratories toxicology lab in Los Alamitos. The surgeon paid patients to undergo drug testing at Vismanos’ lab, prompting her to charge at least 22 different insurance companies for more than $3 million.
The duo worked to sell Naltrexone implants and cortisone injections to their patients to prevent them from reverting to drugs and alcohol. The patients would be involved by getting an incentive or part of the insurance benefit to undergo the various procedures.
Prosecutors allege the pair targeted austere residential homes because it is a “huge market” in Southern California, according to court documents. Homeowners and doctors can make millions off their patients, as statewide insurance companies have to pay for medical expenses, including the cost of frugal homes.
“A doctor can easily exploit the vulnerability of drug addicts by ignoring that the patient needs extensive treatment (mental and physical) to get better,” court documents read.
“Often doctors work hand in hand with frugal home owners, other drug addicts and what are called ‘body brokers’ to increase their profits.
Surgery logs from Rosen’s practice show that he performed nearly 72 procedures per day, with the fastest one completed in one minute. The cost of the procedure is about $4,000 and can be done safely in about 15 minutes, according to prosecutors.
In addition to surgery, Rosen also reportedly paid the patients to undergo unnecessary drug tests that were sent to the Lotus Labs medical lab in Los Alamitos (pictured), owned by Vismanos.
The surgeon, dubbed the “real Frankenstein” by District Attorney Spitzer, was remodeling a $3.2 million mansion in the hills of Brentwood, Los Angeles, when they were arrested and imprisoned in the Orange County Jail.
The million-dollar mansion had a pool, wine cellar and spectacular views of downtown Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, according to The OC Register
The couple spent their fraudulent money on luxury items, including cars, jewelry, art, handbags, and gold and silver bars.
Under California law, doctors are not allowed to make referrals where they or their immediate family may benefit financially.
The duo ignored government policy and were even suspected of having aided accomplices in the process.
In 2020, other suspects were arrested and allegedly collaborated with the duo.
The other four suspects — Robert Mellon, 52, Thomas Douglas, 29, Shea Simmons, 28, and Patrick Connolly, 28 — allegedly worked as Rosen’s so-called “body brokers” and were charged with smuggling and “selling” him the “human ‘guinea pigs’.
The scheme may have resulted in the deaths of 35 patients — many from overdose, investigators said at the time of Rosen’s arrest.