The man behind the fraud — Who is Dr. Aria Sabit?


On Jan. 10, 2017, neurosurgeon Aria Sabit, MD, received a 235-month prison sentence for fraud. He had been behind bars since his arrest on Nov. 24, 2014. 

Here are ten things to know about Dr. Sabit:


1. Dr. Sabit is 43 years old.


2. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dr. Sabit and his family fled to Pakistan following the Soviet invasion in 1979, Royal Oak Patch reported. His family immigrated to Arlington, Va., four years later, and he earned U.S. citizenship in 2014.

3. Dr. Sabit earned his medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, and completed his neurosurgery residency at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark.


4. Dr. Sabit began treating patients at Ventura, Calif.-based Community Memorial Hospital in 2009.


5. Dr. Sabit tangled himself up in a kickback scheme, in which he earned profits from a physician-owned distributorship, called Apex Medical Technologies, according to Medscape. He urged his hospital to use the equipment and he performed "unnecessary surgeries." As a result, about 30 of Dr. Sabit's patients sued him for malpractice. Dr. Sabit lost his license to practice in California. Court documents revealed the Apex Medical Technologies illegal kickbacks totaled $440,000. 

6. He moved to Michigan in 2011 to head Michigan Brain and Spine Physicians Group, with locations around Detroit, until his arrest.


7. Dr. Sabit lived in a $2 million residence in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., which federal prosecutors claimed he afforded with fraudulent funds, according to Click on Detroit.


8. Dr. Sabit pled guilty to four counts of healthcare fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and one count of unlawfully distributing a controlled substance.

9. Dr. Sabit convinced patients to undergo spinal fusions and billed for implants he didn't use. For some cases, Dr. Sabit billed for implants even though he used tissue. The U.S. Attorney's Office reported Dr. Sabit unlawfully billed for $11 million. 


10. He will serve a prison sentence of 19 years and six months for his crimes. Following his release, Dr. Sabit will experience lifetime supervision, according to The Detroit News.

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