LOS ANGELES– A Los Angeles-area doctor was arrested this morning after being indicted on federal “structuring” charges that allege he made hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash deposits designed to circumvent federal reporting requirement.
Dr. Washington Bryan II, 47, was arrested this morning at his residence in Westwood. Bryan is expected to be arraigned this afternoon at the United States Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.
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.
In conjunction with Bryan's arrest, investigators executed federal search warrants at Bryan's residence and his Brentwood medical office. The affidavit in support of the search warrants 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 the same two narcotic drugs, namely, oxycodone (commonly known by the brand name OxyContin) and oxymorphone (also known by the brand name Opana). 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.”
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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.
USAO – California, Central Updated May 26, 2016
Central District of California DOJ / 16-119 / May 26, 2016