An Orange County physician pleaded not guilty Monday to orchestrating a scheme to defraud Medi-Cal out of $30 million.

Mohamed Waddah El-Nachef, 67, of Laguna Hills, was charged March 10 with a half-dozen felony counts, including executing a scheme to defraud Medi-Cal, making a fraudulent claim for a health benefit, filing a fraudulent insurance benefit claim, conspiring in the unauthorized practice of medicine and grand theft, with sentencing enhancement allegations for aggravated white- collar crime between $100,000 to $500,000 and aggravated white-collar crime exceeding $500,000.

El-Nachef is accused of helping “two convicted felons, Steve Fleming and Oscar Abrons, in a scheme to obtain expensive pharmaceuticals that were sold on the illicit market,” according to court papers filed by the state Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting the defendant.

El-Nachef “wrote prescriptions for HIV medications, anti-psychotics, and opioids to over 1,000 medical beneficiaries brought to him by Fleming and Abrons,” the court papers allege. “El-Nachef never conducted good-faith medical exams or otherwise validated that the patients actually needed the drugs he prescribed. A vast majority of the patients did not have HIV, nor had a legitimate need for the psychotic medications or controlled drugs. the medicines were paid for by Medi-Cal, which was unaware that El-Nachef’s prescriptions were generated as part of a fraud and drug trafficking scheme.”

The alleged scheme was carried out from June 2014 through April 2016, according to prosecutors.

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