In a joint operation, Glendora, California police and an anti-drug task force on Thursday arrested a Glendora doctor accused of exchanging fraudulent medical prescriptions for cash. Dr. Rolando Lodevico Atiga, 69, is accused of writing prescriptions for Xanax and "very strong pain killers," such as oxycodone and Vicodin in exchange for cash payments as large as $400.
Glendora Police Capt. Tim Staab said Atiga, who has a prior felony conviction for medical fraud and has faced disciplinary action from the California Medical Board, would ask for payments in cash, and would promptly pocket the money, while asking for an additional $50 tip for his receptionist. Staab called the practice "highly irregular" and "very unorthodox." Staab said his department began receiving tips about the operation two months ago. "This guy's been doing this for quite some time and he's comfortable with it," Staab said.
Together with the task force, Glendora police began investigating Atiga's office, sending undercover officers to obtain fraudulent prescriptions on three occasions. In one instance, Atiga asked an undercover officer for proof that she was suffering from pain. "This undercover officer obtained X-rays of her dog, brought these X-rays into the office, showed the doctor," Staab said. "He looked at these X-rays, immediately said that pain medicine for her would be warranted and for $400 immediately issued a prescription for hydrocodone.
"Either Sparky the dog really, really badly needs Percocet or this doctor is a petty drug dealer masquerading as a physician," Staab said. Atiga was arrested at his urgent care clinic on Baseline Drive on suspicion of violating a state health and safety code by issuing a prescription without a legitimate medical reason. As we was led to a Glendora police car, Atiga said he was not familiar with the charges he is facing but had no other comment. He was released from the Glendora jail on his own recognizance on Thursday afternoon.