Attorney General Lockyer Announces Medi-Cal Fraud Conviction

Friday, January 29, 1999
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SACRAMENTO) Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced that a jury convicted a Hollywood doctor yesterday of defrauding the state's Medi-Cal program of hundreds of thousands of dollars by submitting claims for medical services that he never provided.

Santiago Cadag, M.D., was convicted in Los Angeles County Superior Court of one felony count of grand theft of more than $150,000 and three felony counts of submitting false Medi-Cal claims. The trial was before Judge Lance A. Ito.

Cadag, 63, of Granada Hills, owns and operates Sunset Family Medical Clinic at 4333 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. From mid-1993 until mid-1995, he also practiced part-time at the now-closed Amigo Medical Clinic at 1360 East Anaheim Street in Long Beach.

According to the evidence presented at trial by attorneys from the Department of Justice's Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud, Cadag used unlicensed medical assistants posing as doctors to examine the patients and billed Medi-Cal as though he had performed the exams himself. Cadag also billed Medi-Cal for antibiotics that were never provided and for examinations of so-called "ghost" patients who had not been to the clinic. California taxpayers paid over $400,000 in Medi-Cal expenses for Cadag's false claims.

The owner of Amigo Medical Clinic, Chantha Tong, 46, of Long Beach, testified against Cadag pursuant to a plea agreement in which Tong pleaded guilty to grand theft and submitting false Medi-Cal claims. Three of the unlicensed medical assistants, who had been doctors in other countries but held no medical licenses of any kind in the United States also testified against Cadag.

Cadag will be sentenced by Judge Ito on February 25, 1999. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in state prison.

The case is being handled by Deputy Attorney General David Haxton.

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