State Sues UCI Fertility Doctors Over Records

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The state auditor has sued the three doctors embroiled in the UC Irvine fertility clinic scandal, accusing them of failing to comply with subpoenas for financial and other records needed in his investigation.

Drs. Ricardo H. Asch, Jose P. Balmaceda and Sergio C. Stone have refused to hand over personal income-tax returns, clinic billing records and monthly financial statements, and patient logs and personnel records, according to the suit filed Friday in Orange County Superior Court.

The suit by State Auditor Kurt Sjoberg seeks a court order compelling the doctors either to release the information or appear in court to explain why.

Sjoberg's investigation was initiated several months ago when complaints arose that the three doctors at the Center for Reproductive Health had participated in unauthorized transfers of patients' eggs and embryos and had misappropriated UCI funds.

The three doctors have denied knowingly engaging in wrongdoing. Their attorneys could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit late Monday.

According to documents filed in support of the suit, all three doctors requested extensions on the Bureau of State Audits' original subpoenas in July. Balmaceda and Stone later declined to comply with the subpoenas, according to the documents, but Asch never responded to the subpoena nor explained his failure to do so.

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