A former L.A. hospital executive admitted he paid a man to recruit homeless people for unnecessary medical treatment in a scheme to bilk government health programs out of millions of dollars.

Dr. Rudra Sabaratnam, who ran City of Angels Medical Center, faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to paying a recruiter nearly $500,000 to find Skid Row homeless people with Medi-Cal or Medicare cards and transport them to the hospital.

In his plea agreement, which remains under seal, Sabaratnam also agreed to pay more than $4.1 million in restitution to Medicare and Medi-Cal.

The investigation was sparked in 2006 as Los Angeles police looked into reports that hospitals were dumping homeless patients on Skid Row streets.

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