On October 15, 2021, Dr. Amir Friedman was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for his role in a massive workers’ compensation fraud scheme. Mr. Friedman was the owner and operator of New Age Pharmaceuticals Inc., a medical practice based in Beverly Hills, California. Federal prosecutors cited Mr. Friedman, his company, and more than two dozen other individuals and entities in a $150 million healthcare billing fraud scheme.
According to court records, Mr. Friedman accepted more than $788,000.00 in bribes and unlawful kickbacks for his role in the fraud scheme. New Age Pharmaceuticals Inc. billed workers’ compensation providers in California for alternative pain management drugs that Mr. Friedman knew were unnecessary. In this case, an unidentified marketing firm was providing pre-printed prescription pads to Mr. Friedman to facilitate the fraudulent billing of workers’ compensation insurance. He received kickbacks for billing for the expensive drugs. Beyond workers’ compensation fraud, Mr. Friedman pleaded guilty to federal mail and wire fraud charges.
Workers’ compensation fraud remains a serious issue in California and throughout the United States. The state has strong laws in place to hold the perpetrators of workers’ compensation fraud accountable, including individual employees who make a false claim and health care industry businesses and professionals that profit from the fraudulent billing of workers’ compensation providers. Under California law (California Insurance Code Section 1871.4(3)), it is unlawful to “knowingly assist, abet, conspire with, or solicit a person” engaged in workers’ comp fraud.
Health care professionals and medical industry companies (such as pharmacies) that profit off of workers’ compensation fraud can face serious criminal charges, including workers’ compensation fraud under California law and, potentially, other fraud charges under state and federal law. In California workers’ compensation fraud can be charged as a felony offense. State regulators have put an emphasis on stopping workers’ compensation fraud. Fraud hurts everyone—it raises costs for employers and employees.
Speak to a Workers’ Compensation Defense Lawyer in Fresno
At Yrulegui & Roberts, we are committed to going above and beyond for our clients. With deep experience and expertise, our California workers’ compensation defense lawyers take a proactive approach to every case. If you have any questions or concerns about defending your interests against workers’ compensation fraud, we can help. Contact us now for a confidential case evaluation. We serve WCAB locations throughout the region, including Fresno, Salinas, Oxnard, and Van Nuys.