BEVERLY HILLS—Tanya Moreland King, 37, and Christopher King, 38, both of Beverly Hills conducted a workers compensation scheme that benefited the couple and their co-conspirators. According to complaints that were filed on April 3, the scheme consisted of treatment of over 13,000 people between 2011 and 2015.
Charges against 26 doctors, 1 physician assistant, 2 pharmacists and 2 business owners were made by the Orange County District Attorney after discovering that the overbilling of unnecessary compound creams and urine tests led to $40 million in workers’ compensation fraud.
According to the California Department of Insurance, out of the 13,000 patients involved, the defendants collected $23 million after billing insurers of workers’ compensation. The couple is accused of taking over $18.5 million from over 27 insurance companies. Over $2.1 million dollars were paid to doctors. The three scams included Snake Oil Scam, Medical Kickback Scam, and the Bogus Urine Test Scam.
In the Snake Oil Scam, the defendants contracted with the owner and pharmacist of Steven’s Pharmacy in Costa Mesa, Charles Bonner. Thousands of compound transdermal creams that were neither FDA-approved nor formulated differently for specific patients needs were mass-manufactured. Creams were purchased from the Kings between $15 to $40 per tube, but they billed the insurers around $250 to $700 per tube.
Tania King is accused of employing physicians who treated workers’ compensation patients and wrote notes for reasons to have unnecessary tests and treatments prescribed. Based on the complaints, oral and written agreements with different doctors across California were made by the Kings. The doctors were paid with cash incentives: either a $50 flat rate or a share of profits.
The Medical Kickback Scam involved the purchasing of repacked pain medication from NuCare Pharmaceuticals in Orange and A S Medication Solutions in Costa Mesa.
According to the charges, the couple is said to have bilked insurers of the repackaged oral pain medication. By paying full price for drugs, they sent them to doctors who would distribute them. Workers’ compensation carriers would then be billed by the Kings for more. The couple again split the profits with the physician who initially prescribed the medication.
The Bogus Test Urine Scam involved unnecessary urine tests that would be conducted and billed to the insurance company. The urine tests were referred to Pacific Toxicology Laboratory where they would get additional testing. The previous results did not matter. There was a $60 flat rate per test and the insurance carriers were billed hundreds per patient.
“The Kings and their co-conspirators played with patients’ lives, buying and selling them for profit without regard to patient safety. Patients have the right to expect treatment decisions by health care professionals are based on medical need and not unadulterated greed,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in a statement.
Tania King’s attorney stated, “I believe that she had no intent of doing anything wrong at any time, and felt that whatever was going on was a beneficial service to the community at large and to injured workers who were involved in workers’ compensation litigation and appeals.”
Tania is facing a maximum sentence of 117 years in prison, while two pharmacists could face up to 28 years, and 21 physicians and 1 physician assistant could face up to 25 years in prison.