A North Hills man is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to a federal conspiracy charge stemming from allegations that he helped operators of sham “pop-up” medical clinics divert millions of prescription pills — including oxycodone and other addictive narcotics — to the black market.
Ralph Manning, 53, is charged with being one of the principal couriers allegedly used by Minas “Maserati Mike” Matosyan, an Encino man charged with leading the scheme and controlling six of the sham clinics. Matosyan hired corrupt doctors who allowed the conspirators to issue fraudulent prescriptions under their names in exchange for kickbacks, the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges.
Manning allegedly delivered fraudulent prescriptions and “bulk quantities” of narcotic pills as part of the scheme, according to federal prosecutors.
According to an indictment returned last summer, members of the conspiracy profited from illicit prescriptions that were issued without any legitimate medical purpose through a series of clinics that periodically opened and closed in a “nomadic” style.
The phony prescriptions allegedly allowed the conspirators to obtain bulk quantities of prescription drugs that were sold on the street, the document states.
The indictment, filed in Los Angeles federal court, charges Matosyan, Manning and 10 others — including Glendale-based criminal defense attorney Fred Minassian — with charges including conspiracy and obstruction of justice for allegedly creating fraudulent medical records in an effort to deter the investigation.
—City News Service
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