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May 15, 2019
California Division of Workers’ Compensation Validation of Uniform Assigned Name Required When Filing Documents in EAMS
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|Orthopedic Surgeon, Gil Tepper, Pleads Guilty. Agrees To A Plea Deal With The Los Angeles District Attorney.|
By Lonce Lamonte - February 19, 2019
Last week, orthopedic surgeon Gil Tepper, M.D., of Beverly Hills, pleaded guilty to two counts out of eleven counts charged against him under Labor Code Section 139.21 for workers’ compensation fraud. His plea agreement was approved on February 13, 2019 by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
For a period of nearly nine years, from 2006 to 2014, Gil Tepper’s Miracle Mile Medical Center feigned to purchase surgical hardware from a shell company created by Tepper called Metalink Distributors. In actuality, the hardware implants and medical devices he purchased and utilized were from FDA registered surgical hardware suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers. Metalink Distributors was never registered with the FDA as required by law.
By faking invoices to Miracle Mile Medical Center, of surgical hardware inflated 300% from the actual purchase prices, Tepper with his Metalink Distributors was able to pass on the egregiously inflated hardware charges for nearly a decade to at least eight workers’ compensation carriers and a third-party-administrator.
The legal allowable mark-up is 10%. From 2006 to 2014, co-defendant Jorge Vital instructed Miracle Mile Medical Center employees to submit false and misleading Metalink invoices to (but not limited to): Everest National Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Sedgwick CMS, Farmers, ICW Group, Berkshire Hathaway, State Compensation Insurance Fund, and Employers Insurance for reimbursement per Labor Code 5318. Tepper and Vital received and deposited payments issued on the fraudulent invoices into accounts they controlled.
Gil Tepper, M.D. provided false testimony when he stated he did not know where Metalink ordered its surgical hardware and denied ever owning Metalink in his August 7, 2012 deposition.
In his plea deal, Tepper agrees not to operate Metalink or any physician owned distributorship. He must complete 300 hours of community service together with a six months' probation. He had to stipulate that he is permanently disqualified from participating as a provider in the workers’ compensation system pursuant to Labor Code Section 139.21.
Tepper has to pay restitution of $1,877,768.91 to the victim workers’ compensation payers. $1,103,976.73 will come from his frozen funds with 1st Century Bank. The remaining balance he must pay before his sentencing date of January 28th 2020. He may not travel outside California without prior written consent from the district attorney’s office. He is subject to GPS monitoring to enforce this restriction.
If he materially violates his plea deal agreement, he could face up to six years in prison. If no violations occur by his sentencing date, he may withdraw the felony plea and enter a new plea to the same counts as misdemeanors.
Tepper’s co-defendant, Jorge Antonio Vital, is charged with eight counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud and one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime and attempted perjury under oath, all felonies. The charges include an allegation of taking property valued at more than $3.2 million.
This case BA456262 was prosecuted by Head Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Lentz Snyder of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Healthcare Fraud Division.