A Beverly Hills surgeon, his girlfriend and four others have been dubbed ‘real life Frankensteins’ after being charged in a $52 million insurance fraud scheme where they paid patients to undergo unnecessary surgeries and drug tests.
Dr. Randy Rosen, 57, and his girlfriend Liza Vismanos, 41, have both been arrested and charged with paying vulnerable patients from Southern California sober living homes to take part in medically unnecessary implant surgeries and to take cortisone shots as part of an elaborate fraud scam.
The other four suspects – Robert Mellon, 52, Thomas Douglas, 29, Shea Simmons, 28, and Patrick Connolly, 28 – allegedly worked as Rosen’s so-called ‘body brokers’ and were tasked with trafficking and ‘selling’ him the ‘human guinea pigs’.
Through the scheme, the couple billed multiple insurance companies a total of $600 million, managing to bag $52 million from them, authorities said.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer branded the couple and their alleged co-conspirators ‘real-life Frankensteins’ when he read out the shocking charges against them Friday.
Dr. Randy Rosen, 57, (left) and his girlfriend Liza Vismanos, 41, (right) have both been arrested and charged with paying vulnerable patients from Southern California sober living homes to take part in medically unnecessary implant surgeries and to take cortisone shots as part of an elaborate fraud scam
Spitzer blasted the group saying they ‘exploit[ed] and traffic[ed] human beings as part of a sick and twisted plot to line their own pockets’, using ‘vulnerable’ people who were trying to overcome their addictions as ‘guinea pigs’.
‘Vulnerable sober living patients who were trying desperately to battle their addictions were treated like human guinea pigs just to make a buck,’ Spitzer said in a statement.
‘I refuse to allow these body brokers to exploit and traffic human beings as part of a sick and twisted plot to line their own pockets.
‘This prosecution is a testament to the dedicated work of our prosecutors and our Bureau of Investigation to hold these real-life Frankensteins accountable.’
According to authorities, vulnerable patients were lured into undergoing treatments in exchange for payment.
Rosen also allegedly paid them to undergo unnecessary drug tests which were sent to Lotus Labs medical laboratory in Los Alamitos, owned by Vismanos.
The lab then billed at least 22 different insurance providers more than $3 million for the tests, according to authorities.
In total, insurance companies were billed a staggering $600 million by the couple for various unnecessary medical procedures, unaware that the patients had been trafficked and paid to have them.
Rosen and Vismanos allegedly managed to con companies out of around $52 million in total.
Under California law, medical physicians cannot make referrals where they or their immediate family can benefit financially.
Investigators also allege at least 35 of Rosen’s patients involved in the scheme have died – many by overdose.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer branded the couple and their alleged co-conspirators ‘real-life Frankensteins’
Rosen and Vismanos were arrested Tuesday and held on $52 million bail – to match the sum they duped out of insurance companies.
Rosen was charged with 88 counts in two separate cases involving the recruitment of ‘body brokers’ to find and pay patients for the unnecessary treatments.
Vismanos was charged with 56 felony counts in two separate cases.
The couple were arraigned Thursday where they pleaded not guilty to their respective charges.
The body brokers have been charged with money laundering and fraud white-collar crime enhancements.
The latest charges come after Rosen was involved in a civil federal lawsuit over a separate health care fraud scheme at a Long Beach hospital back in 2017. The case was settled.
As well as surgeries, Rosen also allegedly paid the patients to undergo unnecessary drug tests which were sent to Lotus Labs medical laboratory in Los Alamitos (pictured), owned by Vismanos
Rosen faces almost 85 years behind bars if convicted of all charges, while Vismanos faces 36 years.
The $52 million bail was reduced – Rosen’s to $15 million and $1 million for the two cases, and Vismanos’ to $3 million and $100,000.
Officials said if they post bail they will be required to show the money has come from a legitimate source.
They will also be monitored by a GPS device and were ordered to surrender their passports.