Exec in CA homeless patient scam denies charges

A man operating a health assessment center on Los Angeles's Skid Row has formally denied charges that he took kickbacks from three metro LA hospitals to locate homeless people for needless treatment. The executive, Estill Mitts, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, money laundering and a handful of other charges in U.S. District Court.

The indictment against Mitts accuses him of participating in a scam to bilk Medicare and Medicaid, under which he lured in homeless patients and paid them to be needlessly tested and hospitalized at the hospitals, City of Angels Medical Center, Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center and Tustin Hospital and Medical Center. According to the indictment, the 64-year-old Mitts allegedly was paid as much as $20,000 per month to recruit homeless patients, who received small sums of money, food or cigarettes for their participation. He's posted a $25,000 bond and been ordered to home detention. His trial is set for September 30.

Meanwhile, City of Angels CEO Rudra Sabaratnam has also been ordered to home detention, after posting $700,000. He'll be arraigned August 18.

To learn more about the case:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

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