3 orthopedic surgeons named in $950M kickback scheme, 2 plead guilty

Orthopedic surgeon Daniel Capen, MD, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., pled guilty to conspiracy related to a kickback scheme at Long Beach, Calif.-based Pacific Hospital, according to the LA Business Journal.

Dr. Capen pled guilty to accepting $142 million in illegal kickbacks. Timothy Hunt, MD, of Palos Verdes Estates, also pled guilty to conspiracy and accepting kickbacks, and Tiffany Rogers, MD, was named in connection with the kickbacks. The U.S. Attorney's Office filed 16 criminal cases against 33 defendants in the case; all together the perpetrators are accused of committing a $2 billion healthcare fraud scheme.

The most recent charges, including the charges against Dr. Capen, are related to a $950 million spinal surgery kickback scheme where physicians, pharmacists and others received payment over a 15-year period for referring patients to have surgeries and other services.

The three orthopedic surgeons, along with four others, will be arraigned in July.

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