Spine surgeon gets 33 months for accepting $315K+ in kickbacks


David Payne, MD, was sentenced to 33 months in prison after he was found guilty of accepting bribes for performing surgeries at the now-defunct Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, Calif.

Along with his sentence, Dr. Payne will have to pay $20,000 in fines and forfeit $316,597. according to the U.S. attorney's office for the Central District of California said July 14.

Dr. Payne was convicted of one count of conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud and one count of use of an interstate facility in aid of bribery in March. 

He received kickbacks from Michael Drobot, who owned Pacific Hospital, in exchange for spine surgery referrals. Dr. Payne received up to $15,000 for each spine surgery he did at the hospital and earned more than $315,000 from the scheme.

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