California spine, neurosurgeon indicted for allegedly accepting $40M in kickbacks: 5 key points


A federal Grand Jury indicted two more neurosurgeons in the ongoing fraud investigation involving Long Beach, Calif.-based Pacific Hospital, according to the Press Telegram.


Here are five things to know:

1. Orthopedic spine surgeon Jacob Tauber, MD, and neurosurgeon Serge Obukhoff, MD, were indicted by the Grand Jury in connection with a $950 million healthcare fraud scheme. Nicknamed "Operation Spinal Cap," the 15-year operation allegedly involved medical professionals receiving kickbacks for referring patients for surgery at Pacific Hospital, a community-based teaching hospital.

2. Both surgeons are accused for accepting around $40 million in exchange for their referrals.

3. Dr. Tauber allegedly performed non-spinal surgeries at the hospital but received payments for "urinalysis specimens." Dr. Obukhoff practiced at several Southern California medical facilities, including Pacific Hospital.

4. At the end of June, the Grand Jury indicted nine physicians in the scheme. It issued its first indictment in 2014. The indictment included an orthopedic surgeon who pled guilty to receiving $142 million in illegal kickbacks.

5. Altogether, the defendants are accused of committing a $2 billion healthcare fraud scheme.

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