San Diego

Medical Office Manager Convicted in Massive Worker's Comp Kickback Scheme

An office manager for a medical practice was convicted Thursday for a workers’ compensation kickback scheme that defrauded insurance companies of more than $22 million, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Gonzalo Paredes, 62, was convicted of 51 felony counts of paying illegal kickbacks to San Diego chiropractor for patient referrals and fraudulently billing workers' compensation insurance companies in the California workers' compensation system.

Paredes was the office manager for Advanced Radiology of Beverly Hills, owned by radiologist Dr. Ronald Grusd, who was convicted early this year on 39 counts of fraud for his role in the kickbacks scheme.

Prosecutors said Parades helped to negotiate the kickback deals with the chiropractor for referrals to Advanced Radiology mobile unit in San Diego. The mobile office would then treat the patients and bill insurance companies for several million dollars. Parades also set up kickback payments to the chiropractor and those working for him.

"When law enforcement became aware of the scam, we began following the trail of dirty money and it took us in many different directions," DA Summer Stephan said. "This criminal network bought and sold patients like cattle and they cashed in on the backs of people who trusted them with their health.”

The scheme was exposed through a large-scale joint FBI, California Department of Insurance, U.S. Attorney’s Office and the D.A.’s Office.

Paredes faces a maximum of 43 years and four months in state prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 1.

Insurance fraud in California is a $15 billion-a-year problem, second only to tax evasion, according to the D.A.’s office.

Contact Us