Two arrested in growing medical-fraud case

They’re suspected of helping a Buena Park clinic collect $14 million.

BUENA PARK – In a widening medical-fraud investigation, two people were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of recruiting patients for unnecessary surgeries, the Orange County District Attorney’s office said.

Rosalinda Landon, 60, was arrested in Las Vegas and is being held on $4 million bail. Dee Francis, 56, was arrested in Los Angeles and is being held on $1 million bail. Both face extradition to Orange County, the District Attorney’s office said.

Landon and Francis, both clinic administrators, are suspected of illegally recruiting patients in an eight-month span that helped Unity Outpatient Surgery Center bill more than $90 million in fraudulent medical claims, according to the D.A. Insurance companies paid Unity more than $14 million during this time, the D.A. said.

The suspects face 102 counts of conspiracy and insurance fraud. “We expect further arrests as the scope of the investigation broadens,” District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.

Unity administrators Tam Vu Pham and his wife, Huong Thien Ngo, and her aunt Lan Thi Ngoc Nguyen pleaded guilty to multiple counts of insurance fraud in December 2005.

Johnny and Thuy Huynh also are suspected of being recruiters for the clinic, the D.A. said. Authorities say the Huynhs recruited over 200 patients from numerous states and received a commission of more than $1 million from Unity.

The Huynhs are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Sept. 20.

In addition, five others suspected of being recruiters have been arrested in the investigation and are scheduled for preliminary hearings Aug. 21.