Mr. Gilliland was the first attorney in California to file a lawsuit against Michael Drobot’s Pacific Hospital of Long Beach and orthopedic surgeon Lokesh Tantuwaya, M.D. alleging their participation in the largest workers compensation fraud in the history of California. The prosecution of Michael Drobot followed in the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles which led to the closing of Pacific Hospital for good and a plea agreement with Mr. Drobot.
But Mr. Drobot’s plea agreement was just the beginning. It was a cooperation plea which means that Mr. Drobot was obligated to provide the government with the identities of his co-conspirators. This meant the naming of additional surgeons that participated in the scheme and has led to more prosecutions.
At the same time, the State Compensation Insurance Fund filed a massive civil suit against Mr. Drobot and others seeking reimbursement of money it paid out in reliance on the fraudulent scheme. Then Drobot dropped a bomb in that lawsuit. He filed a cross-complaint against many of his co-conspirators for equitable indemnity. The theory being, if I defrauded SCIF, you others helped me and should participate as civil defendants.
A real surprise was seeing that Drobot included San Diego workers compensation attorney Sean E. O’Keefe who maintained a long-standing and thriving workers’ compensation practice in San Diego. This triggered a criminal investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego and the filing of a sealed indictment against Mr. O’Keefe and plea agreement.
It appears that the plea agreement of Mr. O’Keefe may be the beginning of problems for more local San Diego orthopedic surgeons. The plea agreement identifies many surgeons by their initials and Mr. Gilliland’s client by her initials. It also identifies Alvarado Hospital and refers to other local Diego hospitals without identifying them by name or initials.
If you believe you are a victim of this massive and fraudulent scheme, please call The Gilliland Firm for a free consultation at (619) 878-1580.