Countywide - Five Arrested for Sales of Prescription Drugs
2/12/2014 3:00:00 PM
Nature of Incident:5 Individuals Arrested in Prescription Drug Dealing Scheme
Location:Simi Valley, Los Angeles, Culver City, Anaheim, and Bakersfield CA
Date & Time:Oct 2013 ' Feb 2014
Unit(s) Responsible:Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(S) Dr. Michael Streams Culver City 68
(S) Nurse Practitioner Lorene Shelby Chatsworth 49
(S) Nurse Daijing Zhuang Bakersfield 40
(S) Rimma Orlova Encino 61
(S) Eduard Levenzon Woodland Hills 50
The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit in conjunction with the Los Angeles
CCounty Health Authority Law Enforcement Task Force (HALT) and the California Medical Board
concluded a five month investigation into a 'pill mill' in the area of Arleta in the San Fernando
Valley. Detectives learned of this criminally operating medical clinic through a tip from a local
Simi Valley pharmacist. The Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit had previously contacted every
pharmacy in Ventura County during the Summer of 2013 and made them aware of the task force.
The unit asked for pharmacist's cooperation at reporting individuals attempting to obtain
controlled substances through any fraud or deceit. The tip detailed an individual who was doctor
shopping (visiting multiple doctors to obtain excessive amounts of medication) and named one of
the doctors as Michael Streams.
The investigation led to the Arleta Medical Clinic in the 8900 block of Woodman, in the area of
Arleta, in Los Angeles where Dr. Streams was named as the physician of record. Detectives soon
learned that Rimma Orlova and Eduard Levenzon operated a pain management clinic out of the
location where individuals could receive prescriptions for pain pills and anti-anxiety drugs for cash
without seeing a doctor. A large number of the drugs prescribed were oxycodone (Roxicodone)
and alprazolam (Xanax). A typical fee for the prescriptions was $300. Customers of the clinic
would simply pay Orlova for the scripts which were either pre-signed by Dr. Streams or filled out
on site by Nurse Practitioner Lorene Shelby. Shelby frequently did not examine or see
customers, but instead merely signed her name to the prescriptions. Investigators also learned
that customers talked openly at the clinic about buying prescriptions from other customers or
selling the pills they received.
For the year 2013, over 3000 prescriptions were written in Dr. Streams name and over 500 were
written in Shelby's name. A typical dose was 90 pills per prescription. The estimated street value
for drugs written from the clinic is well over $5,000,000. Dozens of patients were traveling to this
clinic from Ventura County.
The investigation also revealed there was a medical marijuana recommendation business
operating out of the clinic by Orlova and Levenzon. For a typical fee of $60 customers could
receive marijuana recommendations by Nurse Daijing Zhuang, and other individuals yet to be
identified, that were pre-signed by a doctor different from Streams. Information was also received
that Zhuang was filling out prescriptions for pain management medications that were pre-signed
by Dr. Streams. No examinations of customers were conducted.
Additionally, Dr. Streams operated a medical marijuana clinic in Anaheim where customers could
receive recommendations for a fee absent an examination.
On 2-6-14, investigators served search warrants at 7 locations related to this investigation.
Evidence was recovered consistent with a criminally operating organization that was purely profit
driven with no regard for medical care of 'patients.' Approximately $1,250,000 in assets were
seized, $400,000 of which was US Currency.
Streams, Orlova, Levenzon, Shelby, and Zhuang were all arrested for various charges related to
dealing drugs, practicing medicine without a license, and conspiracy. Shelby and Zhuang were
released on bail and their court date is pending. Streams, Orlova, and Levenzon remain in
custody in lieu of $1,000,000 bail.
The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are pending.
The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is a task force comprised of
members of law enforcement from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Simi Valley Police
Department, and the District Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigation. The task force's main
mission is combatting the transfer of legal prescription medication to the illegal market.
Specialized teams throughout the Sheriff's Office and Simi Valley Police Department also
assisted with the investigation.
The jail photos can be viewed at:https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9z49gkjelvvwxmh/C1EsgHXCWp
Prepared by: Ventura County Sheriff's Sergeant Victor Fazio
Media Release Date:February 12, 2014
(805) 947-8074Ventura County Assistant Sheriff Gary Pentis
###Ventura County Sheriff's Captain Curt Rothschiller