A Monterey Park pediatric physician accused of peddling diet pills is facing charges of Medi-Cal fraud, insurance fraud, unlawful prescriptions of controlled substances and sale of a controlled substance, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed last week.
Dr. Thomas Lin owns and operates a pediatric clinic known as “Kids’ M.D.” on Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park.
Over the course of several months, investigators from the California Medical Board posed as new patients and were allegedly able to secure diet pills known as phentermine with little or no physical examination by the 43-year-old doctor or his physician’s assistant.
Investigators allegedly received the drug either by paying his front office staff or getting the drug for free, according to the District Attorney’s Office, which also alleges the physician fraudulently billed for services that were never rendered to his patients.
Lin pleaded not guilty, along with two of his employees who are charged in the 55-count indictment.
Lin faces 14 counts of fraudulent billing to Medi-Cal, 11 counts each of unlawful prescribing and unlicensed practice of medicine, nine counts of sale/offer to sell/transportation of a controlled substance and one count each of insurance fraud, grand theft and unlawful inducement for referral.
Nobel Lin, a 40-year-old physician’s assistant who is not related to the doctor, is charged with five counts of unlawful controlled substance prescriptions.
Ricardo Chavarria, a 25-year-old employee of the doctor, is charged with two counts each of sale/offer to sell/transportation of a controlled substance and unlicensed practice of medicine. He allegedly sold the drug away from the clinic, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Chavarria was charged separately and pleaded not guilty to an additional count of sale of a controlled substance, a charge stemming from his alleged interaction with undercover investigators, according to Deputy District Attorney John Niedermann.
The three defendants are due back at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse Friday for a pretrial hearing.