Former employees of Tim Ejindu's clinics in Riverside and Los Angeles counties said they were pressured to falsify documents. A Los Angeles County audit of his clinic, the Pomona Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center, found evidence of what the county considers fraudulent practices.
At his red-tile-roofed counseling center in Pomona, Ejindu declined to answer questions and closed the clinic door on a reporter.
A third operator, Alexander Ferdman, was permitted to open a rehab clinic even after his felony conviction in 2000 for engaging in organized crime in Texas. State law calls for felons to be suspended from running Medi-Cal clinics.
Still, Ferdman has drawn millions since opening his clinic in 2003 -- and this year, it got a raise to nearly $2 million in annual funding.
Ferdman stopped in the parking lot of his Panorama City rehab clinic, Able Family Support, to defend his record.
"I was convicted, but it's not what it seems," Ferdman said. "There was no fraud, and there was no record of it in any way. It's a very long story."
The medical director for Able Family told CNN that the clinic is among those temporarily suspended by the state.
Ejindu, Ilouno and Ferdman did not reply to letters outlining reporters' findings and seeking additional comment.