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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index
    Release No. 10-013

    January 22, 2010

    SOUTH BAY SURGEON CONVICTED OF FRAUD FOR PERFORMING COSMETIC PROCEDURES THAT WERE BILLED TO PATIENTS’ INSURANCE COMPANIES AS ‘MEDICALLY NECESSARY’

    A physician who operated a medical clinic in Torrance has been convicted of defrauding insurance companies by billing for “medically necessary” procedures, even though the operations he performed were for cosmetic reasons.

    Lawrence Saks, 57, of Rolling Hills, was found guilty Thursday afternoon of 16 federal charges for billing patients and then their insurance companies for procedures that included facelifts and tummy tucks.

    The federal court jury deliberated about four hours before finding Saks guilty of four counts of health care fraud, five counts of mail fraud, four counts of false statements relating to health care matters and three counts of aggravated identity theft for using the names of other doctors while submitting claims to insurance companies.

    Saks operated Madison Park Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center, which had offices in Torrance and San Pedro. Madison Park offered patients elective procedures like face lifts and tummy tucks. The evidence presented at trial showed that Saks collected payments from patients for elective procedures and then filed claims with their insurance companies stating they had medically necessary surgeries, such as tumor removals and hernia repairs. Saks collected approximately $5,900 in payments after submitting nearly $87,000 in fraudulent claims to the insurance companies.

    Saks was found guilty following his second trial. During the first trial in November, a jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of guilt.

    As a result of the guilty verdicts, Saks faces a maximum statutory sentence of 166 years in prison when he is sentenced by United States District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall on March 29.

    Saks is also scheduled to go on trial on March 8 on charges of defrauding disability insurance companies that were paying Saks benefits after he falsely told the insurers that he was not able to work.

    The investigation into Saks was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

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    Release No. 10-013
    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index