21 medical providers suspended in California for fraud; total of 73 this year

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Division of Workers' Compensation has suspended 21 medical providers in California due to fraud, bringing the total to 73 this year in the state.

Two of those medical providers, Dolphus Dwayne Pierce II and Raffiel Arvon Norwood pled guilty or were found guilty in Kern County.

Below are some of those providers:

  • Christopher King - Beverly Hills: He and his wife were the masterminds behind a $40 million conspiracy to commit insurance fraud with other doctors, pharmacists and business owners. More than 13,000 patients and 27 insurances were victims of this scheme. King pled guilty in April 2016 to two felony counts of conspiracy to commit medical insurance fraud and felony insurance fraud. King, co-owner of Monarch Medical Group, King Medical Management and One Source Laboratories recruited employees to prescribe unnecessary treatment for patients with workers' compensation.
  • Marisa Schermbeck Nelson - Torrance: Pled guilty on July 26 for being involved with a $150 million insurance billing conspiracy with orthopedic surgeon Munir Uwaydah. Nearly two dozen patients received surgeries they were told would be performed by Dr. Uwaydah but instead were done by his assistant who had never attended medical school. He wasn't even present in the room during these procedures. The multimillion dollar conspiracy included payments of $10,000 a month for illegal referrals.
  • Marlon Songco - Burbank: President of Rehab Dynamics, Inc. pled guilty on Jan. 8, 2015 for paying illegal kickbacks as part of a Medicare fraud scheme with Joseff Sales and Danniel Goyena.
  • Dolphus Dwayne Pierce II - Lemoore: Found guilty on Jan. 6, 2016 of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud for billing insurance companies for services that weren't needed, not done or double billed.
  • Julio Diaz - Santa Barbara and Orange County: Found guilty on Aug. 15, 2015 on 79 counts of writing prescriptions for controlled substances without a medical reason.
  • Edward Balbas - Rancho Cucamonga: pled guilty on May 5 to two felony counts of insurance fraud for submitting 165 false bills over a three-year period. As part of his plea deal, Balbas had to pay over $650,000 to insurance companies.
  • Randall William Tonelli - San Mateo: The pharmacist pled guilty on July 11, 2016 to offering to sell and trade a prescription drug sample and misbranding drugs for sale with intent to mislead. He lost his pharmacist license on Oct. 13, 2016.
  • Candelaria Valdez - Hemet: Pled guilty in Sept. 2016 to misdemeanor battery relating to abuse of a patient.
  • Bennie Johnson - Encinitas: The Osteopathic Board revoked Johnson's license on March 6 after repeatedly committing acts of gross negligence in his treatment of multiple cancer patients.
  • Helen Chang - San Diego: Chang surrendered her medical certificate on Nov. 1, 2015 after the Medical Board of California disciplined her for incompetence and gross negligence in her treatment of a patient.
  • Raffiel Arvon Norwood - Rosamond: Pled guilty on Oct. 22, 2009 to felony possession of child pornography. Arvon surrendered his medical license on July 7, 2016.
  • Mark Anderson - Woodland: Was found guilty on felony counts of sexual battery in 2009.
  • Jerry Tabuyo - San Jacinto: pled guilty to operating without a license in Jan. 
  • William Richard Bailey - San Diego: Bailey had his license revoked after being convicted of tax evasion in 2016 and was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison as well as required to pay over $500,000.
  • James Francis Murphy - Encinitas: Convicted on federal charges of income tax fraud and evasion. He was sentenced to four years in prison in 2015 and his license was revoked in Oct. 2016.
  • Matthew Cole - Newport Beach: Pled guilty in Dec. 2015 to federal charges of conspiracy to obtain controlled substances by misinterpretation, fraud, forgery deception and subterfuge. Cole was barred from participating with Medi-Cal following his conviction.
  • Joanne Benzor - Riverside: Pled guilty in 2009 to two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol. Her medical was revoked between May 2012 and June 2017 and was later reinstated with limitations.
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