A pair of San Fernando Valley brothers admitted to their involvement in an elaborate opioid trafficking scheme that paid corrupt doctors to write fake prescriptions for black market customers, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Minas Matosyan, 38, of Encino — who also goes by “Maserati Mike” — and Hayk Matosyan, 32, of Granada Hills, both pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.
Both men entered the plea as part of an agreement with prosecutors.
The pair was arrested in August 2017 after being indicted with 10 other defendants from Southern California who allegedly conspired to run seven phony medical clinics that distributed at least 2 million pills.
In his plea agreement, Minas admitted to running six of the clinics by supplying doctors who would allow for prescriptions without a legitimate medical purpose to be written in their name in exchange for kickbacks. The older brother also forged prescriptions by stealing other doctors’ identities and acquiring prescription pads in their names, officials said.
Court documents described a recorded conversation in which Minas said one doctor was paid “for sitting at home” while thousands of pills were issued in his name and Medicare was billed more than $500,000.
Minas also staffed receptionists to handle pharmacists who called the clinic to verify the prescriptions, according to the plea agreement.
In addition to selling prescriptions, Minas dealt hydrocodone and oxycodone he acquired through customers’ phony prescriptions in bulk, prosecutors said.
As part of his plea agreement, Hayk admitted to supporting the scheme by serving as a courier of oxycodone and money earned from its sales.
The brothers’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 15, when both will face a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
The trial for most of the remaining defendants in the scam is set to begin Sept. 10.