A patient of Newport Beach doctor and “Real Housewives of Orange County” star Jennifer “Jen” Armstrong filed a complaint claiming that she had been treated in Armstrong’s office by a former doctor whose license had been revoked for medical billing fraud.
Terri Litzkow, an Orange County real estate agent, wedding planner and former Los Angeles Raiders cheerleader, alleges in her costume that Armstrong asked Donald Woo Lee to give her face lift treatments, even though he didn’t have a license. The lawsuit, filed Dec. 27 in Orange County Superior Court, claims Litzkow received dozens of treatments from Armstrong and Lee from 2017 to Jan. 13, 2021.
Lee was among nearly two dozen Southern California residents indicted in June 2016 in a nationwide crackdown on health fraud that federal officials said involved 301 defendants and $ 900 million in false invoices. He surrendered his license to the State Medical Council on October 19, 2019.
Litzkow, according to the costume, experienced facial pain in 2020 following a thread lift procedure at Armstrong’s medispa – Advanced Skincare MedCenter in Newport Beach. She thought a thread had come loose inside and it was pricking her skin, so she returned to Armstrong’s office to have the job corrected.
A thread lift procedure is an alternative to surgical removal of loose skin and involves the use of absorbable barbed sutures to lift saggy or wrinkled skin.
“The defendant, Dr. Armstrong informed Litzkow that the defendant Donald Woo Lee would treat Litzkow in order to resolve the problem with the wire and alleviate the pain that Litzkow was suffering,” according to the lawsuit. “Dr. Armstrong and his medical societies had a duty of loyalty and to refrain from any unlawful act when it came to treating Litzkow.
Armstrong did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Denies working for Armstrong
In a recent phone interview, Lee denied ever having been employed by Armstrong, but said he first met her at her old office in Fullerton and trained her in cosmetic thread lift procedures in 2019. and early 2020.
“I went over there and taught him how to do the training,” Lee said. “I didn’t do any procedures on the patients. She did all the hands.
Lee said the only work he did was on Armstrong herself, including the Botox and the elevator wires. “I only did this as a friend. I haven’t worked on any patients, ”he said, adding that he and Armstrong always kept in touch and that she recently spoke to him about her role on“ Real Housewives of Orange County ”.
Lee said he also supplied Armstrong with cosmetic yarns and other products through his Temecula-based company, Global Vein Management.
Conviction of the jury
A jury convicted Lee in October 2019 of healthcare fraud for performing unnecessary vein ablation procedures on patients, and for repackaging and reusing FDA-approved catheters for single use.
In carrying out his plan to bill Medicare for unnecessary vein ablation procedures, Lee also engaged in ‘ascending coding’, in which he purposely used the wrong billing code for vein ablation procedures. in order to receive a higher reimbursement from Medicare, “according to the US Department of Justice.
The DOJ noted that from August 2012 to August 2015, Lee billed Medicare $ 12.4 million for vein removal and related procedures and was paid $ 4.5 million by Medicare for these procedures.
Lee, who denies the charges he was convicted of, said his conviction has been delayed more than a dozen times since March 2020, when he was due to be sentenced for the first time. He is now due to be sentenced Jan. 27 before Judge George H. Wu of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Before even giving up his medical license, Lee had already been sanctioned by the Medical Council for other issues. By the time his license was revoked, Lee had already been on probation since 2017 for repeated negligence, tampering with medical records and dishonesty involving two elderly patients.
And in 2012, Lee was placed on six-year probation and sentenced to take a six-month ethics course after forging an x-ray license for his Temecula company, Prime Partners Medical Group, of which he was the owner, chairman and president. CEO.
The 2012 and 2017 probation terms overlapped and were therefore concurrent at the time Lee surrendered his license, Medical Board spokesperson Carlos Villatoro said.
Lee received his medical degree in 1994 from St. George’s University in the West Indies. He completed an internal medicine residency at UCLA Medical School, Wadsworth VA Medical Center in 1997, according to medical board records.
mired in litigation
Armstrong, who told the Southern California News Group in November: “I make women pretty for a living,” has been mired in litigation in recent years involving everything from alleged botched cosmetic procedures to the scam of his ex. handsome over nearly $ 850,000 in a sordid story. of greed and adultery.
Armstrong’s ex-fiancé Bruce Elieff alleged in a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court in 2013 that he gave Armstrong hundreds of thousands of dollars for tuition, for treatments against cancer, and even $ 37,000 to freeze her eggs before she ends their relationship after giving birth to twins fathered by another man. Armstrong said the allegations were “completely baseless.” She described the money Elieff lavished on her as gifts, according to Radaronline.