Twelve people, including Armenians, were arrested in California and are accused of being involved in a distribution ring that trafficked at least 2 million narcotic pills to the black market, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The scheme involved seven sham medical clinics that were issuing fraudulent prescriptions to obtain large quantities of prescription drugs—including oxycodone, hydrocodone, amphetamine and alprazolam—to be sold on the streets, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s office.
Officials are still looking for two additional suspects who investigators think were involved in the scheme.
Burbank residents Armen Simonyan, 52, and Grisha Sayadyan, 66, are suspected of managing some of the bogus clinics. In addition, Simonyan allegedly lied to pharmacists to conceal that the clinics had created and sold prescriptions using the name of an unidentified doctor.
Fred Minassian, 50, of Glendale, is a criminal defense attorney who allegedly led a scheme to lie to law enforcement officials to make it appear that a shipment of Vicodin that was purchased by one of the other defendants was legitimately prescribed by a doctor.
Encino resident Minas Matosyan, 36, was the alleged mastermind behind the distribution ring. Matosyan, who is also known as “Maserati Mike,” is accused of finding doctors who were willing to have their names used when making the bogus prescriptions in exchange for kickbacks, according to the indictment.
The investigation into this case is still in progress.