These spine surgeons tried to be above the law, committing fraudulent acts and endangering patients.
Dr. Aria Sabit — 235-month prison sentence
In January 2017, neurosurgeon Aria Sabit, MD, received a 235-month prison sentence for fraud. He pleaded guilty to "various counts of fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit fraud leading to serious bodily injury and one count of illegally distributing a controlled substance," in May 2015, as reported by Medscape. The Department of Justice reported Dr. Sabit has stolen a total of $11 million from Medicare, Medicaid and private payers.
Dr. Cully White — Six-month prison sentence, six-month house arrest
Cully White, MD, a spine surgeon in Milwaukee, pled guilty to healthcare fraud in November 2013. He surrendered his medical license as well, following allegations of "substandard" surgeries dating back to 2004, Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported. He had been performing about 600 surgeries yearly. In April 2014, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman sentenced Dr. White to a six-month prison sentence and a six-month house arrest. Six months after completing his sentence, Dr. White was back in the legal limelight regarding a counterfeit spinal implant lawsuit in June 2015.
Dr. Abubakar Atiq Durrani — Fled country following indictment
While performing surgeries at UC Health and West Chester (Ohio) Hospital between 2010 and 2013, Abubakar Atiq Durrani, MD, submitted more than $7 million in Medicare reimbursements, Cincinnati Business Courier reported. A federal grand jury indicted the spine surgeon for healthcare fraud and performing unnecessary surgeries. Dr. Durrani pled not guilty for healthcare fraud and fled the country in December 2013; a warrant is out for his arrest. UC Health and West Chester Hospital paid $4.1 million in October 2015 in a settlement regarding the spine surgeon's actions. UC Health did not employ Dr. Durrani, but he held privileges at West Chester Hospital.
Dr. Mark B. Kabins — Five-year probation, six-month home detention
A Las Vegas spine surgeon, Mark B. Kabins, MD, pled guilty to concealing fraud and received five years of probation and six months of home detention in 2010, according to Las Vegas Sun. Dr. Kabins was involved in an investigation of attorneys who allegedly received kickbacks from physicians for settling malpractice lawsuits. He worked with a medical consultant to corruptly influence the plaintiff's attorney not to sue for a spine surgery gone wrong. The sentencing also mandated Dr. Kabins pay $3.5 million in restitution to the paralyzed patient.