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December 18, 2015: Monterey Park Physician, Two Employees Plead In Insurance Fraud, Illegal Prescribing Case

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A Monterey Park pediatric physician pleaded no contest today to Medi-Cal fraud and the illegitimate prescribing of drugs and will be sentenced to four years in custody when he returns to court in February, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Dr. Thomas Lin, 46, returns to Department 103 on Feb. 19 for sentencing before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Curtis Rappe in case BA414836. Prosecutors will ask that he pay $200,000 in restitution.

Deputy District Attorney John Niedermann of the Major Narcotics Division, who prosecuted the case, said Lin provided diet pills known as phentermine, a controlled substance, through his pediatrics clinic known as “Kid’s M.D.” on Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park.

Over the course of several months in 2012, investigators from the California Medical Board posed as new patients and were able to secure phentermine with little or no physical examination by Dr. Lin or his physician assistant, Nobel Lin. Investigators received the drug either by paying his front office staff or receiving the drug for free.

Nobel Lin, 42, no relation to the doctor, pleaded no contest today to four misdemeanor counts of illegitimate prescribing. He was immediately sentenced to three years on probation.

Ricardo Chavarria, 27, an employee, pleaded no contest today to one felony count of sale of a controlled substance. Prosecutors said investigators were able to purchase phentermine directly from Chavarria who sold the drug away from the clinic.

Chavira was immediately sentenced to three years on probation and given credit for serving 90 days in custody.

The three were named in a 55-count Grand Jury indictment unsealed on Sept. 20, 2013.