Spine Surgeon Sentenced to 20 Years for Fraud
Wednesday, January 11, 2017By Richard Alexander
A federal district court in Detroit, Michigan just sentenced a spinal surgeon to 235 months in prion. This nearly 20-year prison sentence is in relation to charges associated with fraud, unnecessary operations and fabricated procedures. Aria Sabit, MD, the 43-year-old surgeon, initially practiced at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California. According to the Medscape article, Dr. Sabit went on a spree of unnecessary surgeries overloading patients with unnecessary hardware that he invested in as a physician-owned distributorship (POD) with Apex Medical Technologies.
Fraud, Kickbacks and Unnecessary Harm
This case is filled with fraud, kickbacks and unnecessary harm caused to innocent patients. During an 18-month stretch, nearly 30 patients who were operated on later sued for malpractice. Some of his patients died from complications associated with the unnecessary surgeries. In December of 2010, the hospital had to temporarily suspend his privileges in order to “protect the life or well-being of patients.”
Fraudulent Surgeries in Detroit
After fleeing from his criminal behavior and reputation in California, Dr. Sabit setup shop in Detroit. It was here that he started a new surgical fraud scheme. Dr. Sabit would persuade patients to have spinal fusion surgery with metal instrumentation, but since he was no longer working with Apex Medical Technologies, he never installed any medical hardware in his patients. Diagnostic imaging showed that he just used bone dowels, and that spinal fusion was never achieved in those cases.
Illegal Kickbacks and Medicare Fraud
In addition to all of the unnecessary and criminal surgeries, Dr. Sabit also stole about $11 million from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers. He reportedly received nearly $440,000 in illegal kickbacks from Apex Medical Technologies. He pleaded guilty to multiple counts of fraud in addition to other criminal charges.
Medical Malpractice in San Jose
The federal district court in Detroit is hoping to send a message to other medical professionals engaged in criminal and fraudulent behavior that they’re going to be held accountable for their dangerous actions, especially when patients’ lives, health and wellbeing are on the line. Alexander Law Group, LLP is always ready to answer questions and share the results of our research and experience with the public. Our goal is to make a difference for our clients and our community.