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Health

8 Charged In Workers' Compensation Kickback Scheme

Former U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy speaks at a news conference, Feb. 6, 2014.
Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press
Former U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy speaks at a news conference, Feb. 6, 2014.

Eight people are facing federal charges in San Diego in what prosecutors call a kickback scheme that involved tens of thousands of dollars in bribes and $25 million in improper workers' compensation claims.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said Tuesday that the indictments are the first in a wave of charges targeting workers' compensation fraud.

Authorities arrested five people Tuesday, including a radiologist and a chiropractor. Six companies are also charged.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said these were not victimless crimes.

“The victims of insurance fraud are the people and businesses of California. When insurers are defrauded, insurers pass the cost of fraud on to the rest of us, in the form of higher premiums,” Jones said.

The FBI said the scheme resulted in overprescribed services, higher prices and unfair competition. Duffy said patients were unwitting.

“A doctor’s decision should never, under any circumstances, be influenced by anything other than a patient’s best interests,” Duffy said.