An Encino doctor, who federal authorities say made close to $1 million from billing health care companies for fake or unnecessary medical services, was found guilty this week of one count of conspiracy and 11 counts of mail fraud.
The U.S. Attorney's office said Dr. Joseph Ezra, a psychiatrist, defrauded the companies by using his medical license to bill insurance providers.
After a joint investigation by the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. District Court Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer found Ezra, 50, guilty.
Investigators said Ezra and his brother-in-law, Chester Katz, an optometrist from Reseda, used a medical provider called Reseda Primary Care to submit fake claims for medical services and tests they never performed or that were unnecessary. The two brothers then billed Medicare and private health insurance companies for the services.
Ezra is scheduled to be sentenced on April 22 for his part in the scheme. He faces a maximum of 55 years in jail and a possible fine of more than $2.7 million.
Katz, who pleaded guilty to four counts of mail fraud, is scheduled to be sentenced March 4.