A local gynecologist who is already on probation by the state medical board for negligent patient care and sex with patients has pleaded not guilty to a string of fraud charges.
Jason Helliwell appeared in court Wednesday morning for his felony arraignment, during which he denied all 32 claims against him. He and two others were charged Sept. 4 in a 32-count criminal complaint alleging a fraudulent medical scheme, according to the complaint filed by the Kern County District Attorney's Office.
The complaint alleges that Helliwell, 47, conspired with Brandon Williams, 40, a sales representative for Irvine-based Exceltox toxicology lab, and Tamara Head, 53, owner of Rosedale Medical Billing Solution, to charge insurance companies for medically unnecessary treatment. The alleged fraud in the complaint dates back to 2010 and occurred as recently as 2016, court documents show.
The schemes alleged in the DA’s complaint and investigative reports involve Helliwell ordering unnecessary blood and urine tests for patients for which Head is accused of fraudulently charging insurance companies. Helliwell received kickbacks from Williams, whose lab performed some of the testing, for the samples, the complaint alleges.
Reports state that Helliwell would collect urine samples from patients for lead and mercury testing and would “surreptitiously” order additional testing for illicit drugs without the patient’s knowledge.
Helliwell will appear in court Oct. 28 and Oct. 29 for pre-preliminary and preliminary hearings.