1-800-Get-Thin Under Fire for Lap-Band Surgery Deaths


'Don't Worry, We Make $21 Million A Month'

But the doctor who operated on Laura Faitro testified that one of the Omidi brothers, Julian, told him they made too much money to worry about the death or the cost of a lawsuit.

During a deposition in a lawsuit filed by John Faitro, Dr. Ihsan Shamaan testified that Julian Omidi said that if Shamaan had killed her, "that means there would be a lawsuit."

"Julian Omidi's response to me was, 'Don't worry, we make $21 million a month, one million is okay,'" said Dr. Shamaan.

The Omidis say the doctor is lying, but John Faitro says he believes the doctor, not Julian Omidi.

"He has a love for money," Faitro told ABC News. "He took a lot away from me."

The Omidis don't do any of the actual surgeries themselves. Julian Omidi had his medical license revoked by the state Medical Board for dishonesty, citing his involvement in the burglary of exam papers when he was in college.

Michael Omidi had been put on probation as a doctor for three years, and was reinstated in 2011.

"There were allegations of gross negligence," said Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, who has written extensively about the Omidis.

A series of articles and columns in the paper first revealed the deaths and despite being hit by a string of lawsuits from the Omidis, its reporters continued to raise questions about the marketing pitch to overweight Californians.

Said Hiltzik, "What [patients] need is good medical care, and qualified medical care, not medical care that they can get off a billboard."

READ the LA Times coverage here.

Dyanne Deuel headed the medical support staff at one of the Omidi clinics until, she said, she quit in disgust.

Follow ABCNewsBlotter on Twitter

Click Here to Sign Up for Breaking News and Investigation Alerts From The Brian Ross Investigative Unit

"I've never seen in my life standards so below the average of what they should be," said Deuel. "They would run the patients through. They would send patients home that were complaining of shortness of breath and many other issues. [Patients would be] in severe pain, and they would push them out the door. 'I'm sorry, we need the bed. You need to go.' "

Deuel is now suing the Omidis, who claim she is making things up to help her lawsuit.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...