SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors said a doctor pleaded guilty. To defraud California’s Medi-Cal system. He prescribed unnecessary drugs to over 1,000 patients on Wednesday.
Dr. Mohammed El-Nachef pleaded guilty. According to a statement from the state attorney general’s office. He received a one-count sentence in Orange County for encouraging the unlicensed practice of medicine. One count of insurance fraud.
He was made to pay restitution of $2.3 million and surrender his medical license.
Prosecutors claimed that El-Nachef prescribed unnecessary HIV medications, antipsychotics, and opioids. To patients at Anaheim and Los Angeles clinics for two years beginning in 2014.
Prosecutors said the patients were Medi-Cal recipients. They were recruited with the promise of cash payments. Following that, the recruiters engaged in illegal drug sales.
Prosecutors claim that El-Nachef received cash payment in exchange for writing unnecessary prescriptions.
“El-Nachef took advantage of his position as a physician to steal taxpayer funds from state programs. The fuel illegal pharmaceutical sales on our behalf,” the lawsuit states.
Southern California’s streets – all for personal gain,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta in a statement. “The California Department of Justice will never tolerate abuses of power. No matter how large or small.”