- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Two Southern California doctors have been convicted of Medicare fraud for falsely certifying patients were terminally ill - making them eligible for taxpayer-funded hospice care.

Boyao Huang of Pasadena and Sri Wijegoonaratna of Anaheim were convicted Thursday of health care fraud. Each could face up to 10 years in federal prison.

A federal indictment said the doctors received kickbacks from Covina-based California Hospice Care to certify patients as terminally ill when in fact most weren’t.

The hospice was then able to seek reimbursement for the patients’ care.

Authorities say between 2009 and 2013, the scheme cost Medicare and Medi-Cal nearly $7.4 million.

Four other people, including the hospice owner, have pleaded guilty in the scheme.

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