Today In WTF: Doc Sentenced For Giving Stingy Doses To AIDS Patients

An Orange County AIDS doctor who also practiced in L.A. County was sentenced to more than a year in federal prison after he admitted he gave some of his patients smaller -- and sometimes fake -- doses of drugs than what he indicated to insurance companies.

George Steven Kooshian, 59, was sentenced to 15 months behind bars for health-care fraud after he admitted to "sub-dosing" 21 patients while still charging 18 insurance companies for full doses of drugs used to treat AIDS-, HIV- and hepatitis-related ailments, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles.

Kooshian was also ordered to pay $660,955 in restitution to the insurance companies and patients. He practiced in Garden Grove, Laguna Beach and Long Beach.

Prosecutors said patients sometimes even received only saline in place of a needed drug, even though their insurance companies were billed for the pharmaceuticals. They also said the doctor sometimes billed the companies for doses unrelated to his practice that patients had taken at home.

Kooshian's 10-year assistant, Virgil Opinion, pleaded guilty to his part in the scheme and was sentenced last summer to three years of probation, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.


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