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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

LOS ANGELES : Doctor Guilty in Massive Medical Insurance Fraud

July 24, 1993

A Palos Verdes doctor faces more than 150 years in federal prison after his conviction on racketeering and fraud charges, a prosecutor said Friday.

Dr. William O. Kupferschmidt, 51, was found guilty of complicity in a massive medical insurance fraud orchestrated by brothers David and Michael Smushkevich, prosecutor Lee Michaelson said. The Smushkevich brothers, who are Soviet nationals, and seven other defendants pleaded guilty to similar charges earlier this year. David Smushkevich's wife, Alla, will stand trial later this year in connection with the fraud. Two other defendants are still at large.

Michaelson said Kupferschmidt set up three clinics, in Torrance, Tustin and San Diego, to generate bogus billings for the fraud. In all, she said, the defendants racked up more than $1 billion in false billings and were paid more than $50 million by government programs, private insurance firms and employee benefit plans.

Kupferschmidt will be sentenced Oct. 4 by U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter.

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