SAN JOSE — A South Bay radiologist has been arrested and charged by the California Division of Justice with conspiring with a community of phony sufferers to put in writing unlawful prescriptions — in some cases forging one other physician’s signature — to illicitly procure 1000’s of opioid painkillers, authorities stated.
Dr. Arash Padidar, who works at a San Jose-based surgical apply, was arrested Friday and booked on the Santa Clara County Fundamental Jail, the place his preliminary bail was set at $100,000.
Padidar has been charged with seven-drug associated felonies that embody issuing a prescription with no authentic medical objective, acquiring managed substances by fraud and deceit, forging and issuing a prescription, illegal use of non-public figuring out info, and conspiracy to commit a criminal offense. Every depend carries a most jail time period of three years.
“Docs are trusted with the immense accountability of defending our well being and our lives,” state Legal professional Common Rob Bonta stated in a press release. “When a foul actor exploits their place for private achieve, they not solely shatter our belief, they hurt weak sufferers.”
Padidar was scheduled for arraignment in a San Jose courtroom Friday, however that was pushed again to Monday as a result of his jail processing was not accomplished in time to permit him to look in court docket.
The medical apply the place Padidar labored, Minimally Invasive Surgical Options, didn’t instantly return a request for remark Friday. It’s not clear from the DOJ’s prison criticism whether or not the physician whose signature Padidar is accused of forging works on the similar apply. Padidar additionally belongs to the Physicians Medical Group of San Jose.
Investigators with the DOJ’s Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse contend that between October 2018 and October 2020, the physician wrote almost two-dozen illegitimate prescriptions for Norco, a model identify for hydrocodone ache remedy.
Deputy Legal professional Common Amy Bellah, who wrote the prison criticism, chronicled in meticulous element how Padidar allegedly prescribed 2,350 Norco capsules to greater than a half-dozen individuals, together with his spouse and father, on the settlement that he would obtain some or the entire medicine.
Amongst these recipients was a former worker of Padidar who tipped off San Jose police and the Drug Enforcement Administration to the alleged drug scheme after she was fired in July 2019, in response to the criticism.
The criticism cites textual content messages and emails between Padidar and folks he tapped to acquire the prescriptions, whose names are redacted within the public court docket doc, that use coded language like “tickets” to debate the prescription pickups at a number of South Bay pharmacies in San Jose, Campbell and Los Gatos.
Many of the prescriptions had been for 100 capsules every, and Bellah wrote that Padidar saved a operating go surfing a notetaking app on his iPhone. The criticism cites how in lots of cases, the co-conspirators would drop off some if not the entire capsules to Padidar, although it’s unclear within the doc whether or not that occurred at his workplace, his house, or one other location.
Nobody else has been charged so far within the case, and the criticism makes clear that not less than among the individuals concerned knew what they had been doing was not above board. The doc contains an electronic mail excerpt during which Padidar is reportedly requested, “For the longer term, please I would really like to not have my identify on the prescription. I don’t thoughts choosing it up when it’s wanted however because it’s a managed remedy I favor to not have (it) underneath my identify.”
The alleged scheme got here to the eye of authorities after the fired worker, who carried out among the phony prescriptions, blew the whistle on Padidar. The criticism contends that the alleged crimes wouldn’t have come to mild in any other case.
“By spreading across the prescriptions within the identify of varied people and even utilizing one other physician’s prescribing info, he fraudulently obtained the remedy and hid his actions from regulation enforcement,” Bellah wrote.
This can be a growing story. Test again later for updates.