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The California Attorney General announced the sentencing of a Southern California doctor for an illegal prescription scheme that defrauded the state Medi-Cal program of over $20 million.

Mohammed El-Nachef, M.D., was sentenced to five years in jail after entering a plea of guilty for prescribing medically unnecessary HIV medications, anti-psychotics, and opioids to over a thousand Medi-Cal beneficiaries in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

As part of his sentence, El-Nachef also paid $2.3 million in restitution and surrendered his medical license. The prosecution in this case was carried out by the California Department of Justice’s Division of Medical Fraud and Elder Abuse (DMFEA).

El-Nachef served as the prescriber at two clinics – one in Anaheim and the other in Los Angeles – and carried out the prescription scheme from June 2014 to April 2016.

In exchange for cash payments, he prescribed expensive medications to Medi-Cal beneficiaries who had no medical need for them. The medications were not kept or used by the beneficiaries, but were instead diverted to the illicit market for cash.

He was accused of helping “two convicted felons, Steve Fleming and Oscar Abrons, in a scheme to obtain expensive pharmaceuticals that were sold on the illicit market,” according to court papers filed by the state Attorney General’s Office.

In September 2022, El-Nachef pled guilty in the Orange County Superior Court to one count of insurance fraud and one count of aiding and abetting the unauthorized practice of medicine.

He will serve his five-year sentence split, with two years in the Orange County Jail and three years on mandatory supervision.

DMFEA protects Californians by investigating and prosecuting those who defraud the Medi-Cal program as well as those who commit elder abuse. These settlements are made possible only through the coordination and collaboration of governmental agencies, as well as the critical help from whistleblowers who report incidences of abuse or Medi-Cal fraud at