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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947

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    Release No. 07-022

    February 14, 2007


    Los Angeles, CA - Three people were arrested today for their roles in a health care fraud scheme which involved transporting Medicare beneficiaries from across Southern California to a fraudulent clinic in Pomona for unnecessary treatments and services. A fourth defendant, who was posing as a doctor at the clinic, is being sought by the FBI.

    Those arrested today are: Terry Lee Hill, 47, of San Bernardino; Natasha Sherrill Walker, 36, of Los Angeles; and Gertha Ree Green,71, of San Bernardino. The fugitive currently sought by the FBI is Betros Garabet, 40, of Glendale.

    Garabet, Hill, Walker and Green were named in an indictment returned February 7 by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles. The indictment charges Garabet, Hill and Walker with seven counts of health care fraud. Green was charged with making a false statement to the FBI about her participation in the health care fraud scheme.

    According to the indictment, Garabet opened a medical clinic in Pomona and posed as a medical doctor, though he was not licensed to practice medicine. Garabet allegedly paid illegal cash kickbacks to Hill, Walker, and others for their participation in the scheme, which involved transporting Medicare beneficiaries from San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties to the fraudulent clinic. The patients were taken to the clinic for unnecessary treatments, which included diagnostic testing and examinations. Garabet then allegedly billed Medicare for services which in some cases were never performed. The recruited Medicare beneficiaries, who were shared among Hill and other marketers, were often elderly or disadvantaged citizens, including patients suffering from mental illness.

    The three defendants in custody will make their initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge in federal court in Riverside this afternoon.

    An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

    The health care fraud counts carry a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The false statement count carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison.

    The case was investigated by the Riverside office of the FBI and Santa Ana office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General.


    Release No. 07-022
    Return to the 2007 Press Release Index