Doctor accused of fraud

GLENDALE — A Glendale physician and her husband were arrested Friday morning after failing to report more than $4.2 million in Medicare payments during a two-year period, officials said.

Glendale ophthalmologist Eduardita Quevedo, 66, and her husband, Sherman Oaks-based gynecologist and obstetrician Federico Quevedo, 71, were taken into custody at their Pomona home Friday in connection with the tax fraud charges, said Brenda Voet, a state Franchise Tax Board spokeswoman.

Eduardita Quevedo, who worked out of a Chevy Chase Drive office, and her husband were charged with two felony counts each of filing false income tax returns in 2003 and 2004, according to a criminal complaint. In addition to the Glendale facility, she is listed as having offices in Pasadena and Glendora.

The couple were convicted in 1999 on the same charges, but didn’t serve time in jail because they paid the tax board more than $150,000 in restitution, Voet said.

“It’s kind of unfortunate that they got themselves in the same situation for a second time,” she said.

The couple played a small role in a much larger scheme, said Deputy Dist. Atty. David Berger of the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

While he declined to comment specifically on the case, citing ongoing investigations, Berger said an organized criminal enterprise typically makes arrangements with doctors to deliver patients, usually elderly, in return for a split in medical fees. The doctors then billed Medicare for the services that they provided to the patients. Berger said it was not clear what percentage of procedures were performed.

When the amount being paid out to the doctors appears unusually high, he said Medicare officials will look into whether they are paying taxes on the payments.

Medicare fraud is rampant in Los Angeles County and the state, Berger said.

Eduardita Quevedo is being held in a Los Angeles County detention center in Lynwood in lieu of a $340,000 bond.

Federico Quevedo was booked into the county’s Main Central Jail in Los Angeles in lieu of a bond of the same amount.

The couple are scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

If convicted, they face the maximum sentence of four years and eight months in prison, Berger said. The couple would also be ordered to pay $600,000 in restitution, he said.

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