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NoHo docs arrested in homeless insurance scam

ABC7 Eyewitness News HD covering Los Angeles and Southern California.

October 30, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two North Hollywood doctors were arrested Friday, accused of preying on homeless people as part of an insurance scam.The city attorney's office said Dr. Rodney Barron and Dr. Eleanor Santiago Arthur are part of an elaborate scheme to get health insurance money.

It allegedly involved paying mentally ill homeless people to take unnecessary tests, then billing Medicare or Medi-Cal for those procedures.

"On a good day, they saw around 50 patients. It was generally between 30 and 50 patients. And from what we've been able to determine, they're billing Medi-Cal and Medicare $1,000 per patient," said Deputy City Attorney Carolyn Phillips.

The city attorney's office says it all added up to more than $5 million.

In all, seven people face charges, and they could face up to seven years in jail if convicted.

Barron and Arthur were being held on $500,000 bail. The Medical Board of California is looking into revoking the doctors' medical licenses.