Texas spine surgeon gets 7 years in prison for role in $40M kickback scheme


Spine surgeon Shawn Henry, DO, was sentenced March 17 to seven and a half years in prison for his role in a $40 million kickback scheme that paid physicians to direct patients to the now-defunct Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas, according to the Dallas Business Journal.

Dr. Henry was also ordered to pay more than $6 million in restitution.

Two other spine surgeons involved in the scheme, Michael Rimlawi, DO, and Douglas Won, MD, were to be  sentenced March 18. Dr. Rimlawi received almost $5 million in bribes and Dr. Won received almost $6 million, according to the report.

The three surgeons, along with pain management physician Mrugeshkumar Shah, MD, were found guilty of bribery and both paying and accepting kickbacks in a 2019 trial.

Prosecutors argued the physicians referred patients to Forest Park in exchange for money to advertise their practices, which helped some of their practices grow substantially.

The hospital was also found to have illegally paid for operations to enhance its bottom line before it closed. 

Mac Burt, administrator and one of Forest Park's founders, was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison and ordered to forfeit almost $4.6 million in property acquired from monetary gains from the kickback scheme, according to the report.

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