Three more physicians have been charged in connection with an alleged $580 million kickback scheme on spinal surgeries and other services, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
David Hobart Payne, 60, of Irvine, was scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon. The orthopedic surgeon was accused in a grand jury indictment of taking about a $450,000 bribe to direct around $10 million in surgeries to Pacific Hospital of Long Beach.
Lokesh Tantuwaya, 51, of Rancho Santa Fe and Rock Springs, Wyoming, was accused in an indictment of receiving $3.2 million in kickbacks for directing or performing $38 million in surgeries to the hospital.
Jeffrey David Gross, 52, of Dana Point, was accused in an indictment of receiving $622,000 for performing or referring $19 million in surgeries to the hospital.
Nine people have been convicted so far in the scheme that dates back 15 years.
The former owner of the hospital, Michael D. Drobot, 73, was sentenced in January to more than five years in federal prison. Drobot has been cooperating with authorities as they continue to investigate the fraud.