Brothers Michael and Julian Omidi are a couple of sweetie pies. The Medical Board of California stripped Julian Omidi of his license, accusing him of not stating that he had been expelled from UC Irvine. The medical board placed Michael Omidi on three years' probation for performing surgeries on three patients at an unaccredited surgical facility - and for allowing a nurse - instead of a trained specialist - to administer anesthesia to a liposuction patient. But that's all nickel-and-dime stuff compared with the investigations and lawsuits connected with their weight loss surgery business, which had been heavily promoted through those 1-800-GET-THIN commercials. Five people have died after having Lap-Band procedures at clinics affiliated with 1-800-GET-THIN, the LAT reports, citing lawsuits, autopsy reports and other public records. The Omidis have filed four lawsuits against The Times and its journalists - all of them dismissed. Now, LAT reporter Stuart Pfeifer has a really good piece on the two brothers and their background.
They were born in Iran and moved to the United States as children, Julian Omidi said in a court filing. The family eventually settled in Irvine. Julian Omidi graduated from University High School and enrolled at UC Irvine in 1986. He was a hardworking student, arriving on campus early in the morning, staying late and making few friends, according to court records. He was expelled in 1990 after the university accused him of participating in the theft of exams from a campus office, the court records show. He pleaded guilty to criminal burglary charges, which were dismissed after he completed probation and community service. Julian Omidi would later sue The Times, claiming it was inaccurate to report that he pleaded guilty because the charges were eventually dismissed. The lawsuit was dismissed.
After medical school, the brothers returned to Southern California. Julian Omidi worked as a dermatologist, his younger brother as a plastic surgeon. They were shown on the E! reality show "Dr. 90210" consulting with patients, offering them younger-looking skin, larger breasts, fuller lips and streamlined stomachs. "We're going to make you look a little bit like Angelina Jolie," Julian told one woman. "If you do a lot of these treatments when you're young, you'll never really get old." After work, they were shown dating young, attractive women, salsa dancing and hosting extravagant dinner parties. "I think we have a very exciting life, much more exciting than I think most people," Julian said in one of the episodes.
[Dr. Ihman Shamaan, who performed Lap-Band surgeries at the clinics], testified that Michael Omidi put making money ahead of patient care. "His god is money," Shamaan said in the deposition for a wrongful-death lawsuit involving one of the patient deaths. "If the patient brings in money, he will give him service. His prerogative is not patient care, not patient safety, just 'Can he pay?'"