Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer has criticized a decision by a Superior Court judge to release a Beverly Hills surgeon charged with 88 felonies from the county jail due to complications from COVID-19, allowing him to await trial under house arrest in Brentwood.
Dr. Randy Rosen, 57, has been charged with hiring body brokers to pay patients at sober-living facilities to undergo unnecessary surgeries and medical procedures, amassing a $29 million fortune by billing insurance companies for the treatments through his Beverly Hills clinic.
Rosen pleaded not guilty to all 88 felony counts, including multiple charges of fraud and money laundering, on July 2, and his bail was set at $10 million. But on Dec. 17, Superior Court Judge Sheila Hanson released Rosen, who had contracted COVID-19, so he could be placed on GPS electronic monitoring and sent home.
“We are watching the theater of the absurd,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
“The criminal justice system shouldn’t have one set of rules for people who are wealthy and a separate set of rules [for those] who aren’t,” he said in a Dec. 18 press release.
“Poor people who pose a low risk to society shouldn’t have to sit in jail because they can’t afford to get out while wealthy people who have demonstrated they have no regard for the law or the lives of other human beings and have nothing to lose walk right out the front door of the jail.”
Spitzer has joined cities throughout Orange County in supporting Sheriff Don Barnes’s opposition to a judge’s Dec. 11 mandate that he release 1,800 inmates from county jails to protect them from COVID-19.
The DA’s Office called Rosen’s release a risk to the community. It also said the suspect is a “significant flight risk” due to the millions of dollars in assets available to him and the 80-year sentence in state prison he’s facing if convicted on all charges.
Rosen was previously out of jail on $300,000 bail for another criminal case, according to the DA. During that time, he allegedly continued his insurance fraud scheme.
But Rosen’s attorney, Harland Braun, said his client is “neither a flight risk or a danger,” adding that the DA “wants the death penalty” for his client.
“He’s perfectly capable of being home and monitored,” Braun said. “This is what bail is all about—not punishment.”
The attorney said that being overweight and smoking have contributed to Rosen’s vulnerability to the deadly virus, and that Rosen surrendered his passport when he was arrested.
“He’s not a danger because he’s given up his license to practice [medicine], and no insurance company will pay him,” Braun said. “He has four children here. And he’s in a receivership, so they have all of his property, so the idea that he has all this property is preposterous.”
Dr. C. Hsien Chang, the medical director for Orange County’s Correctional Health Services (CHS), authored a declaration in support of Rosen’s continued incarceration at the Orange County Jail.
“I am familiar with Randy Rosen’s medical conditions and have complete confidence that CHS can appropriately manage and treat his medical conditions while in the Orange County Jail,” Chang stated.
Rosen was charged along with four others in the health insurance fraud scheme. His girlfriend, Liza Vismanos, was charged with 56 felonies in connection with the scheme. Vismanos owned a laboratory allegedly used by Rosen for unnecessary drug tests.
Rosen will remain under house arrest for up to 30 days as he awaits trial. He will need to report his “current medical condition” on Jan. 4, 2021, according to Hanson’s ruling.
The suspect is next due in court in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana on Jan. 19, 2021, when he may appeal for an extension for home confinement.
City News Service contributed to this report.