Fake Medical Equipment Scandal Ran Rampant: Whistleblower

February 25, 2014
NBC Southern California

On the heels of a massive corruption scheme involving state Sen. Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello) and a former hospital executive, two whistleblowers are speaking out to NBC4's I-Team, for the first time, about what they said was insurance fraud, involving counterfeit medical hardware, which ran rampant under that hospital executive's command.

"The red flags started immediately," said Mark Sersansie of Orange County, who was hired as a sales representative for a man he said worked for Michael Drobot, the former owner of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach.

Sersansie is one of two plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit, which was originally filed in Sacramento in May 2012, but was recently transferred to Los Angeles County.

The suit alleges doctors were recruited to push workers comp patients to have spinal surgeries done at certain hospitals that overcharged for operations and medical devices, which in many cases were counterfeit, according to the suit.

According to Sersansie, Drobot and his co-conspirators bullied their employees to keep quiet about their scheme.

"These guys are absolute thugs," said Sersansie. "They tried different ways to intimidate me and my family. We had instances where they actually came to my home, three of them and threatened me."

According to the suit, the scheme involved an elaborate web of conspirators that included Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, which is now closed, Tri-City Medical Group, whose former CEO has since been investigated and removed and medical hardware distributors and doctor whom collected on illegal kick-backs.

Justin Berger, Sersansie's attorney, showed NBC4 an invoice -- an exhibit in the suit -- which totals $24,000... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)