Orthopedic Medicare fraud, murder acquittal: Munir Uwaydah and Kelly Soo Park charged.

Orthopedic Pair from L.A. Murder-For-Hire Case Now Accused of Weird Surgical Fraud

Orthopedic Pair from L.A. Murder-For-Hire Case Now Accused of Weird Surgical Fraud

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Sept. 17 2015 11:17 AM

Orthopedic Pair from L.A. Murder-For-Hire Case Now Accused of Weird Surgical Fraud

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Kelly Soo Park in 2013 at her murder trial. She was acquitted.

Bob Chamberlin/Pool/Getty

Fifteen individuals associated with Dr. Munir Uwaydah's orthopedic surgery practice in Los Angeles have been indicted for participating in illegal patient referrals, faked medical evaluations that led to unnecessary procedures, botched surgeries performed by people who weren't trained to perform surgery, and, almost as an afterthought, Medicare fraud. The kicker is that this is not the strangest criminal case that Dr. Munir Uwaydah's practice has been involved in. From the Los Angeles Times:

Also arrested this week was Kelly Soo Park, 49, who worked as Uwaydah's office manager and personal assistant, authorities said.
In 2013, jurors acquitted Park of strangling 21-year-old Juliana Redding in her Santa Monica home in March 2008 — a verdict that marked a bruising defeat for the district attorney's office.
During the trial, a prosecutor told jurors that Redding was killed five days after her father broke off business negotiations with her ex-boyfriend, Uwaydah.

Prosecutors alleged that Uwaydah made payments of more than $1 million to Park at around the time of the killing.

The Medical Board of California put Uwaydah on probation in 2010 for letting his physician's assistant perform surgeries and canceled his license in 2013; he's believed to have fled the country after Park was arrested on murder charges and may or may not have just been arrested in Germany. (Prosecutors say he's in custody abroad but a lawyer who's represented him in the past denies it.)

Eleven defendants, including Park, have entered not guilty pleas to the new charges. The L.A. Times wrote in 2014 that Park's acquittal in the murder case "surprised even some defense experts."