LOS ANGELES – The California Department of Justice assisted in an investigation that, on May 26, 2015, resulted in the arrest of Dr. Washington Bryan II, 47, of Westwood. Bryan was arrested after being indicted on federal “structuring” charges that allege he made hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash deposits in a way to circumvent federal reporting requirements.
"This investigation involved law enforcement departments on the local, state and federal level," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "These cases are often lengthy and complex. I commend the investigators and agents for working together and addressing the fraudulent prescriptions of highly addictive pain medications. The abuse and addiction of these pain killers is a huge problem in California and this nation."
The 29-count indictment charges Bryan with structuring more than $400,000 in cash deposits between October 2011 and January 2013. Bryan allegedly made deposits of less than $10,000 each into four separate accounts for the purpose of preventing banks from reporting the deposits to the federal government, which is required for every cash transaction of more than $10,000.
The affidavit in support of the search warrants executed at Bryan's Westwood home and Brentwood office, discusses a total of $3.8 million in structured cash deposits allegedly made by Bryan as far back as December 2007. The affidavit also discusses evidence that Bryan structured the cash for the purpose of concealing income he receive from thousands of fraudulent prescriptions that he issued for narcotic painkillers and HIV medications.
According to data maintained by the State of California, Bryan issued nearly 10,000 controlled drug prescriptions over a three-year period that ended in March. According to the affidavit, 86 percent of those prescriptions were for oxycodone and oxymorphone . Since 2006, Medicare has paid more money to pharmacies to cover Bryan’s narcotic drug prescriptions – $7.8 million – than for any other prescribing doctor in California, and he outpaced the next-highest prescriber by more than $1.6 million.
“The federal structuring statute was designed to prevent criminals from hiding their illicit proceeds from scrutiny,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “In this case the defendant will now be held accountable for his attempt to hide millions of dollars made from excessive and highly-suspicious narcotic drug prescriptions.”
“Federal laws that regulate the reporting of certain financial transactions are in place to detect and stop illegal activities, such as narcotics trafficking and prescription drug diversion schemes,” stated IRS Criminal Investigation’s acting Special Agent in Charge Anthony J. Orlando. “IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to enforcing these laws and following the money, particularly when doctors profit from issuing medically unnecessary prescriptions.”
If convicted of the 29 counts in the indictment, Bryan would face a statutory maximum sentence of 145 years in federal prison.
The investigation into Bryan was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, the Department of Defense – Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the California Department of Justice and the Los Angeles Police Department.