The United States Attorney’s office in Santa Ana announced June 14 that several Southern California doctors have been indicted for taking kickbacks in a scheme centered around Pacific Hospital in Long Beach. Thousand of patients were referred to that hospital for spinal surgery and other procedures that were paid for mainly through the state workers' compensation system, says the federal government.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Lokesh Tantuwaya, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe and practices in several locations around the area, was charged with taking $3.2 million in kickbacks for referring and/or performing $38 million in surgeries at Pacific Hospital. He was originally charged by a grand jury in February with conspiracy, honest services fraud, and using an interstate facility to aid in unlawful activity.
He pleaded not guilty in April and has been ordered to go to trial November 6, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Santa Ana.