There’s a criminal case coming out of California right now that looks to be one of the bigger medical malpractice cases in recent memory. 

Basically, an orthopedic surgeon named Dr. Munir Uwaydah has been charged with fraud after telling 21 patients he would perform surgeries on them. Instead, he actually had a physician’s assistant – who had never even attended medical school – do the procedures. 

“All 21 patients sustained lasting scars and many required additional surgeries and suffered physical and psychological trauma as a result of their experience in Uwaydah’s clinics,” prosecutors said.

Prosecutors also say many of the surgeries weren’t even necessary to begin with.

In addition, authorities believe Dr. Munir Uwaydah and 14 associates, including another doctor and a lawyer, received $150 million through insurance fraud.

To make things even more complicated, Uwaydah’s office assistant was acquitted on murder charges two years ago for strangling the doctor’s ex-girlfriend. 

The case spans a decade and appears to have included a district attorney investigator posing undercover as a patient for 3 months. Uwaydah and 10 others are charged with conspiracy, insurance fraud, aggravated mayhem, and more.

This story wouldn’t fit in a Law & Order episode – it would need its own miniseries. And while it’s tempting to look on and treat the whole thing like sordid entertainment, there are real victims here.