Administrator convicted in Calif. fraud scheme

Another conviction has been handed down in the case of a Southern California imaging center company accused of paying for patient referrals, this time to the firm's office administrator.

Gonzalo Paredes was convicted after a nine-day jury trial of 51 counts of paying kickbacks to doctors who referred patients to his imaging center, Advanced Radiology of Beverly Hills. Previously, the owner of Advanced Radiology, Dr. Ronald Grusd, was convicted on 39 felony fraud counts and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Grusd and Paredes were part of a case that authorities dubbed Operation Backlash. Grusd ran several companies that paid referring doctors in San Diego and Imperial counties kickbacks for patient referrals to fraudulently bill insurance companies for more than $22 million in medical services, according to evidence presented at his trial.

Paredes helped negotiate deals with chiropractors and facilitated kickbacks to physicians, according to the San Diego Office of the District Attorney. Paredes faces more than 43 years in state prison.

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