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The surgeon pleads guilty to accepting $3.3 million in kickbacks



Federal prosecutors announced that a neurosurgeon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and admitted receiving approximately $3.3 million in kickbacks to perform spine surgeries at Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, California.

Lokesh Tantuwaya, 55, pleaded guilty Thursday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He has been in federal custody since May 2021, prosecutors said. Dr. Tantuwaya admitted accepting payments from Michael D. Drobot, the owner of Pacific Hospital, to perform spine surgeries from 2010 to 2013.

Mr. Drobot pleaded guilty to kickback and conspiracy charges in 2014 and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence. Mr. Drobot conspired with doctors, chiropractors and marketers to pay kickbacks and kickbacks for the referral of injured workers.

Prosecutors said in a statement that the program generated more than $500 million in bills for spine surgeries involving setbacks. Dr. Tantuwaya faces up to five years in prison at a December 9 sentencing.


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