One-Time Operator of Sober-Living Homes, Including in San Diego, Enters Plea in Fraud Case

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An attorney pleaded no contest Monday and was immediately sentenced to two years in jail for his part in a $12.5 million scheme to over bill insurance companies for urine tests.

Philip William Ganong, 70, of Bakersfield, accepted a deal on Monday from Orange County Superior Court Judge Joy Markman. He pleaded no contest to 10 felony counts of fraudulent claims for a health benefit.

Multiple attorneys were charged in 2017 in connection with the scheme allegedly led by Ganong and Pamela Mae Ganong, his wife and co-defendant, who owned sober living homes in San Diego, Orange County, Bakersfield and Los Angeles, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

The defendants hail from areas throughout Southern California, including La Jolla, Carlsbad and Newport Beach.

The Ganongs formed a medical testing lab in December 2011, and prosecutors said sober living home residents were recruited to join a scheme to over bill insurance companies for urine tests, which involved listing them as employees and signing them up fraudulently for health insurance.

Pamela Mae Ganong, 67, from La Jolla, is awaiting trial, but her case has been assigned to a court that handles defendants who are facing questions about whether they are mentally competent to assist in their defense.

Co-defendant Susan Lee Stinson, 70, of Carlsbad, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of fraudulent claims for a health benefit on Oct. 25 and was sentenced to time served, which was 34 days, according to court records.

Markman ordered Stinson and Ganong to pay $12.5 million restitution.

Charges against the Ganongs’ son, William Ganong, were dismissed in 2019 because he died, according to court records.

– City News Service