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A Riverside County judge has unsealed indictments against eight people accused of operating an international conspiracy to defraud the California workers’ compensation system of more than $123 million.

In March 2017, the Riverside and San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Offices began an investigation into Blue Oak Medical Group. The evidence was presented to a Riverside County criminal grand jury which, after hearing six weeks of testimony, handed down indictments on Jan. 17, 2019.

The indictments, which were unsealed by Superior Court Judge O.G. Magno on Tuesday, name Kenneth Amodeo, 60, of Agoura Hills; Rosa Bernal, 46, of Covina; Shannon Devane, 41, of Downey; Janek Hunt, a 44-year-old Estonian national; Edgar Lozano, 52, of Porter Ranch; Matthew Rifat, 49, of El Cajon; Hector Sandoval, 54, of Sherman Oaks; and Munir Uwaydah, a 52-year-old Lebanese national.

Amodeo is a pharmacist, Rifat is an attorney, and Uwaydah is a physician whose license currently is not active. Uwaydah has been under indictment in Los Angeles County in a related case since 2015.

The next court date for Amodeo, Bernal, and Lozano is Feb. 6, 2019, for arraignment and the next court date for Devane, Hunt, and Rifat, is Feb. 26, 2019, for a trial readiness conference. Defendants Sandoval and Uwaydah are not in custody and arrest warrants have been issued.

The eight defendants in this case are charged with a variety of counts including conspiracy, fraud, and money laundering and sentence-enhancing white-collar crime allegations.

Amodeo, Bernal and Lozano were each being held in lieu of $4.7 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning; Devane and Rifat were each being held in lieu of $4.7 million at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside; and Hunt was being held in lieu of $4.7 million at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta. Arrest warrants are pending against Sandoval and Uwaydah, neither of whom were in custody.

Based on information found in publically filed documents, the defendants used the sham clinics to take advantage of thousands of patients by prescribing nearly all of them the same high priced cocktail of unnecessary medications, regardless of the patients’ condition. Many of the medications were produced by pharmacies under the control of the defendants and the patients often received little, if any, of the medicine they were prescribed.

The defendants funneled the fraudulently obtained proceeds from the scam through a network of shell companies, ultimately sending the money to co-conspirators throughout Southern California, Europe, and the Middle East.

The investigation in this case involved multiple agencies including the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, and the California Pharmacy Board.

The cases, RIF1990022 and RIF1990023, are being prosecuted by Riverside County Deputy District Attorneys Matthew Murray, Erika Mulhere, and Kristen Allison of the DA’s Insurance Fraud Team, and San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Michael Chiriatti.