LOS ANGELES - On December 18, 2015, a Monterey Park pediatric physician pleaded no contest to Medi-Cal fraud and the illegitimate prescribing of drugs and will be sentenced to four years in custody when he returns to court in February.
In an undercover investigation, California Medical Board investigators discovered Dr. Thomas Lin, 46, provided diet pills known as phentermine, a controlled substance, through his pediatrics clinic known as “Kid’s M.D.” on Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park.
"Physicians are in a position of trust for the health and well-being of their patients, and others," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "Our CSLEA members who investigate cases for the California Medical Board often go undercover to expose doctors who have a different agenda in mind."
Over the course of several months in 2012, California Medical Board investigators posed as new patients and were able to obtain phentermine with little or no physical examination by Dr. Lin or his physician assistant, Nobel Lin. Investigators received the drug either by paying Dr. Lin's front office staff or receiving the drug for free.
Nobel Lin, 42, no relation to the doctor, pleaded no contest to four misdemeanor counts of illegitimate prescribing. He was immediately sentenced to three years probation.
Ricardo Chavarria, 27, an employee, pleaded no contest to one felony count of sale of a controlled substance. Investigators were able to purchase phentermine directly from Chavarria who sold the drug away from the clinic. Chavira was immediately sentenced to three years probation and given credit for serving 90-days in custody.
Dr. Lin is scheduled to be sentenced February 19, 2016. Prosecutors will ask that he pay $200,000 in restitution.