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Former chiropractor Peyman Heidary owned and oversaw a network of medical clinics to generate fraudulent billings to workers’ compensation and insurance carriers.

As a non-attorney, he also allegedly controlled the day-to-day operations of various law firms, including California Injury Lawyers.He allegedly controlled or directed hiring and firing, legal decision making, and income flow to and from the law firm. Codefendants Cary Abramowitz, a lawyer, and Ana Solis allegedly assisted Heidary in these operations.

Heidary also allegedly formed and controlled several health clinics in Southern California. Each was staffed by front and back room support staff for scheduling and basic medical services .

Included were chiropractors operating as primary treating physicians, allegedly providing blanket, cookie-cutter services to each patient at Heidary’s direction and making as many medical specialist referrals as possible. Despite their qualifications, they also wrote medical legal reports using Heidary’s templates, the most expensive report in workers’ compensation.

Medical doctors, or specialists, allegedly provided blanket treatment and medlegals on Heidary’s orders. Billings were made in each provider’s name, and payments were made to their accounts. However, Heidary required fee-splitting and he was the only one allowed to withdraw funds. Heidary also had the doctors sell their accounts-receivables (AR) to him, which he then sold to third parties.

Under the alleged fraud scheme, injured workers appeared at the law firm, which would fill out boilerplate paperwork and, on Heidary’s order, direct the workers to one of his clinics to begin treatment. At the clinic, the workers underwent treatments, regardless of need, such as massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, psychiatric and other services. After the maximum number of visits, they were discharged regardless of medical status.

A Riverside County grand jury returned an indictment against Heidary and his codefendants Cary Abramowitz, Ana Solis, and Gladys Ross. The criminal defendants filed a demurrer, and later a motion to dismiss this indictment, challenging in part whether they had received notice of the charges and whether the indictment improperly aggregated multiple acts into single counts. The trial court denied both requests. Heidary appealed.

The Court of Appeal summarily denied the petition on August 8, 2017. On October 11, 2017, the California Supreme Court intervened directing the Court of Appeal to address these issues. After this ordered review, the trial court ruling was affirmed by the Court of Appeal in the published case of Heidary v Superior Court.

Heidary, is described in court records as a chiropractor and suspected architect of a “massive, fully integrated criminal enterprise” designed to commit workers’ compensation insurance fraud. According to the indictment, Heidary went by the aliases Brian Heidary, Number One and The Godfather. Heidary owned or ran numerous businesses, including law firms and health clinics, and relied on other people to disguise his involvement and create a complex and illegal ownership structure, according to court records.

The criminal activity dates back to at least 2009, according to investigators. Heidary was originally charged in July 2014, but an indictment filed in Riverside County Superior Court expands the case and named new co-conspirators.

Heidary was convicted by a Riverside County jury in January 2024 of 68 counts of insurance fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and various other charges.

Although originally charged with $98 million in fraud, evidence presented at trial, including Heidary’s testimony, revealed that the actual damage was about $150 million. During the sentencing hearing on April 12, 2024, Judge Charles Koosed noted that Heidary possessed deep knowledge of the workers’ compensation system, stating, “’[Heidary] took advantage of that knowledge based on greed.”

On April 12, 2024, Heidary was sentenced to 54 years, eight months in state prison and ordered to pay more than $23 million in fines for his role in orchestrating a massive workers’ compensation fraud scheme totaling $150 million.

“The California workers’ compensation system is designed to help injured workers get back on their feet without ruining them financially,” said Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin. “Sophisticated criminals like Mr. Heidary don’t just steal money, they take advantage of innocent patients. The sentence handed down today sends a strong message that these types of offenses will not be tolerated in Riverside County.”

Heidary used the sham law firm to recruit thousands of legitimately injured patients, referring them to his network of clinics to create unnecessary billing. One of the injured workers, Denise Rivera, slipped and fell while working as a certified nurse assistant for special needs children. Ms. Rivera testified that she was recruited into Heidary’s scheme, but never received any effective treatment.

“[Heidary’s employees] released me,” Rivera told jurors. “They told me – basically I was okay. My knee was okay.” When asked during the trial if her knee actually was OK, she simply responded, “No.”