Former Doctor Pleads Guilty to Federal Criminal Charges

On August 19th, 2019, the Special Investigative Unit of RJN Investigations, Inc. was formally notified by the United States Attorney General’s Office regarding the conviction of Dr. Wendell Street.  This particular case initiated from a questionable workers’ compensation claim filed against the Hesperia School District.  One of the central red flags in that case was the pharmacy billing for narcotic pain medication.  On multiple occasions, the physician issued medical reports stating, “No new significant physical findings per exam,” yet the surveillance level investigation performed by the RJN SIU Department found that the claimant never attended any such appointment on the dates that were billed.  Further analysis of the billing reflected that the physician prescribed over a period of 2 ½ years to the claimant 41 prescriptions for Oxy Codeine, 75 prescriptions for Actig, 19 prescriptions for Hydrocodone and 40 prescriptions for Diazepam.  Given the evidence compiled in the SIU level investigation, the case was formally referred to the California Department of Insurance Fraud Division and to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.  The investigation was subsequently transferred to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration.  In the course of their investigation, the doctor wrote prescriptions without performing any physical examination in exchange for cash.  Upon completion of the criminal investigation, Dr. Wendell Street was arrested back in March, 2018.  As part of his plea, Dr. Wendell Street pled guilty to 2 felony counts of illegally prescribing Oxy Codeine to patients without a legitimate medical purpose and faces a statutory maximum sentence of 40 years in Federal Prison.

 

Dr. Wendell Street is due to be sentenced on September 9th, 2019, by United States District Judge George H. Wu.

 

ABOUT R.J.N. SIU:

 

Formed in 1996, the SIU Division was created to assist California employers, small size insurance carriers and TPA firms in securing professional assistance so as to detect, investigate and prosecute insurance fraud.  To date, the unit has trained well over 3000 examiners and the documented referrals by this unit have resulted in over 195 convictions for workers’ compensation insurance fraud in California.


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