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$10 Million Fine for Upscale Skid Row Scammers

LA Garments and Citizen, Posted: Feb 10, 2010

A former downtown loft-dweller and his partner, found guilty in a scheme that used Skid Row residents to defraud the publicly subsidized Medicare and Medi-Cal healthcare systems must pay a $10 million fine to the federal government, under terms of a recent settlement in a civil lawsuit against them.

Former downtown resident Robert Bourseau and Dr. Rudra Sabaratnam of the upscale Brentwood district on the Westside are also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to criminal charges in the case.

The two are former owners of the City of Angels Medical Center, which operated in the Echo Park district northwest of downtown Los Angeles and has more recently come under new management and changed names.

Among the charges to which Bourseau and Sabaratnam have pleaded guilty are accusations that they recruited homeless individuals in the Skid Row district of downtown for unnecessary medical treatments, then fraudulently billed the Medicare and Medi-Cal systems.

The scheme employed paid "recruiters" employed at homeless shelters in Skid Row to deliver homeless clients by ambulance to the hospital in Echo Park, according to federal officials.

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