Spine surgeon convicted for accepting $300K+ in kickbacks


Another spine surgeon was convicted of accepting bribes for performing surgeries at the now-defunct Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, Calif.

David Payne, MD, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud and one count of use of an interstate facility in aid of bribery after trial, the U.S. attorney's office for the Central District of California said March 6.

He recieved kickbacks from Michael Drobot, who owned Pacific Hospital. Mr. Drobot had offered bribes in exchange for spine surgery referrals, and in the last five years of his scheme, more than $500 million in medical bills were submitted for cases involving kickbacks.

Dr. Payne recieved up to $15,000 for each spine surgery he did at the hospital. In total, he recieved more than $315,000 from the scheme.

Dr. Payne faces up to 50 years in prison. Twenty-four defendants have been convicted for taking kickbacks in Mr. Drobot's scheme. 

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