Colorado spine surgeon reaches plea deal in bankruptcy fraud, money laundering case: 6 insights


After being indicted Dec. 4 on bankruptcy fraud charges, Cathleen Van Buskirk, MD, reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors, according to the Daily Camera.

Here are six insights:

1. Deals of the plea were not disclosed. Dr. Van Buskirk was indicted for bankruptcy fraud, concealment of bankruptcy assets, fraudulent transfer and concealment as well as money laundering.

2. Dr. Van Buskirk could face up to 20 years in prison for the money laundering charges as well as five years in prison for each of the other charges.

3. The spine surgeon was scheduled to stand trial Aug. 20; in March, however, her attorneys declared she was close to a plea deal.

4. Federal prosecutors allege Dr. Van Buskirk failed to report $46,000 and 200 U.S. silver dollars. She also failed to report other foreign currency, gold coins and one diamond ring when filing for bankruptcy.

5. When Dr. Van Buskirk filed for bankruptcy, she also transferred nearly $170,000 to various companies she supposedly controlled, although the companies were registered to her family or other employees.

6. Details on the plea deal will be released at Dr. Van Buskirk's plea hearing Aug. 24. She is the owner of Alpine Spine Center in Boulder, Colo.

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