A doctor who ran a clinic on Santa Monica Boulevard was sentenced Thursday to four years behind bars for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme.
Joseph R. Altamirano, 60, of Tuston, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu to pay restitution of $4,334,464, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Altamirano pleaded guilty in Dec. 2017 to one federal count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
He was charged in 2015 with billing Medicare for medical equipment and services that were not medically necessary and often not provided, according to federal prosecutors.
From January 2005 through May 2015, recruiters associated with the clinic traveled throughout the Southland looking for Medicare beneficiaries so that Altamirano could write “medically unnecessary” prescriptions for medical supplies and home health services, the U.S. Department of Justice alleged.
At the clinic, Altamirano’s associates allegedly provided beneficiaries with blood draws and ultrasounds they didn’t actually need, as well as toenail trimmings and foot massages, according to federal prosecutors.
At times, prosecutors contend, Altamirano briefly met with beneficiaries, but did not examine them, before submitting fraudulent claims for services not provided.
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