The surgeon who was accused of building a luxurious life on the backs of often-desperate drug users eager to make a buck — even if it meant enduring unnecessary surgeries, getting unnecessary lab tests and receiving unnecessary injections for inflated prices — pleaded guilty to several charges in two separate cases on Friday, Aug.12, according to court records.
Randy Rosen ran Wellness Wave, a surgical center in Beverly Hills, and girlfriend Liza Vismanos owned Lotus Laboratories, a toxicology lab in Los Alamitos. Over the course of just a few years, they billed health insurance companies some $676 million for medical procedures and tests and collected millions in reimbursements, according to court documents that paint a picture of unrepentant greed and callous disregard for human suffering.
Before landing in the Orange County Jail, they were remodeling a $3.2 million mansion — with “jetliner” views of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica mountains and downtown Los Angeles; complete with lap pool and wine cellar — high in the hills of Brentwood. They had high-priced cars, expensive purses and jewelry, eclectic art and bars of silver and gold, prosecutors said in court documents.
Rosen pleaded guilty to several counts of submitting fraudulent insurance claims with an aggravated white collar crime enhancement, while scores of other charges were dismissed. He faces 10 years behind bars, but will get credit for the two years he has already served as the cases progressed through the justice system.
Vismanos pleaded guilty on Friday to insurance fraud and had dozens of charges dismissed. She will face home confinement.
“This is the largest prison sentence for a provider in a California workers’ compensation insurance fraud,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer in a prepared statement. “Dr. Rosen used vulnerable sober living patients who were desperately trying to battle their demons as an ATM machine to make a buck. He didn’t care about his patients; he only cared about making as much money as possible.”
Rosen’s time behind bars was itself a source of controversy.
Rosen got COVID-19 in late 2020, and a judge released him to his multi-million dollar home to recuperate, for fear of underlying medical conditions.
Rather than enduring lock-up in Orange County’s main jail, Rosen paid $100 a night to stay at the kinder, gentler Huntington Beach City Jail in 2021, raising questions about justice for the rich, and for everybody else.
Attorneys for Rosen and Vismanos said they’d have no further comment.
“I refuse to allow these body brokers to traffic human beings as part of a thinly disguised plot to strike it rich,” D.A. Spitzer said. “People battling addiction and the people who love them are looking for a lifeline to help save them. Dr. Rosen not only grabbed the lifeline out of their hands, he billed the insurance companies to do it.”
This article has been updated with response from attorneys and sentencing detail