Crime & Justice

Southern California doctor charged in $150 million insurance scam

Los Angeles prosecutors say a doctor was the ringleader in one of the state's biggest health fraud schemes that included unnecessary surgery by an untrained assistant that scarred patients for life.

Indictments unsealed Tuesday say a doctor and 14 associates bilked insurance companies out of $150 million in the scheme.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey says Dr. Munir Uwaydah was arrested in Germany on the 57-count indictment.

Eleven of his co-defendants appeared briefly in Los Angeles Superior Court and had not guilty pleas entered on their behalf. They were held on bail as high as $21.5 million.

One defendant, Kelly Soo Park, was the doctor's office assistant. She was acquitted of murder in 2013 in the strangling death of an aspiring actress.

Park's lawyer says she's not guilty in the insurance fraud case.