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Man Pleads Guilty In Scheme To Recruit Homeless For Health Care

An L.A. man pleaded guilty Tuesday to health-care fraud after he participated in a scheme to recruit homeless people on Skid Row to undergo unnecessary medical treatment that was billed to Medicare and Medi-Cal.

Federal authorities say 49-year-old Vincent Rubio, former chief financial officer of Tustin Hospital and Medical Center, payed kickbacks to a woman to lure Skid Row patients to the center to receive the unnecessary treatment that would then bolster the hospital's bottom line. As part of an agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Rubio pleaded guilty to health-care fraud and failing to report income on a tax return.

Rubio is one of five people who have entered guilty pleas in health-care scams involving mostly homeless people from L.A.'s Skid Row. Rubio faces a maximum 15 years behind bars.

The federal investigation into using Skid Row citizens as pawns in health-care kickback schemes is ongoing.


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