Menu Close

Operating under their company, P&R Med-Legal Medical Corporation (P&R), Dolphus Dwayne Pierce, a chiropractor, and Tomas Ballesteros Rios, a physician, conspired with others to defraud various workers’ compensation insurance carriers. P&R contracted with physicians to perform cursory (if any) examinations of workers’ compensation patients at chiropractic clinics, and then dispense prepackaged medications to these patients with little or no regard for medical need.

Pierce and Rios contracted with a company to prepare and submit canned medical reports and bills to workers’ compensation insurance carriers. These bills sought payment for the medications dispensed, and for services relating to the dispensing of medications – some of which were not performed, and some costlier than the services actually performed by the physician. Eventually, a search warrant was executed on businesses and homes associated with P&R.

After P&R shut down, Pierce and Rios contracted with another company to rebill the insurance carriers for services initially billed by P&R, seeking to collect on existing unpaid bills for medications previously dispensed.

In June 2012, Pierce and six codefendants (Rios, John Brent Arakelian, Maria Cecilia Rios Cabangangan, Charles Orlando Lewis, M.D., Cathy Aguilar Pierce, and Chi Hong Yang, M.D.) were charged by grand jury indictment with conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and related charges.

Physician Tomas Rios pled guilty to conspiracy as charged in count 1 and testified for the prosecution. On October 22, 2015, jury trial against Pierce alone began. On January 8, 2016, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on count 1 and acquitted Pierce of the remaining counts.On September 16, 2016, the trial court placed Pierce on probation for five years, with the condition that he serve one year in county jail and pay $770,421 in restitution.

On appeal, Pierce raises numerous issues, contending the trial court prejudicially erred: (1) when it overruled his demurrer to count 1 of the amended indictment; (2) when it refused to strike reference to section 550, subdivision (a)(5) from the conspiracy charge as surplusage; (3) when it denied a motion to compel election of conspiracies at the close of the prosecution’s case; (4)in jury instructions given and refused; (5) when it denied a motion for acquittal; (6) when it quashed his subpoenas to the insurance companies and admitted the testimony of two attorneys; and(7) when it denied hismotion for recusal. Finally, Pierce contends sentencing error occurred.

The Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction in the unpublished case of People v Pierce.

The Court found no merit to any of the issues raised by Dolphus Pierce D.C.