Wednesday, February 11, 2009

University Pain Specialists, a clinic where prosecutors said he participated in a $12 million Medicare scam in which mentally ill and elderly adults r

Thursday, August 21, 2008
Newport Beach doctor surrenders license in fraud case
Dr. Paul Lessler pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud.
BY COURTNEY PERKES
The Orange County Register
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A Newport Beach doctor who last year pleaded guilty to committing Medicare fraud surrendered his medical license today, the California Medical Board reported.

Dr. Paul Lessler operated University Pain Specialists, a clinic where prosecutors said he participated in a $12 million Medicare scam in which mentally ill and elderly adults received unnecessary respiratory treatments. In May 2007, he pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy and health care fraud charges.

According to medical board documents made public today, Lessler hired recruiters who found patients at board and care facilities in Orange County from 2000 to 2006. Recruiters lured them with soda, candy and doughnuts. The lung treatments were provided without supervision at the boarding facilities. Documents say the medical office billed Medicare for the services, even though those services were not provided in the doctor's office, as required by Medicare.

Lessler, 70, agreed to give up his license and signed an agreement with the medical board to do so in July. Santa Ana attorney Raymond McMahon, who represented him in the proceeding, is on vacation and could not be reached for comment.

Federal records indicate Lessler was to be sentenced last month, but the computer system does not indicate the disposition. Neither his defense attorney nor prosecutors could be reached late today.

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