Midland chiropractor among 14 sentenced for healthcare fraud

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 11:39 AM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - A Midland chiropractor is one of 14 defendants who have been sentenced for their role in a bribery scam involving a Dallas-area hospital.

According to a release from the Department of Justice, Dr. Frank Gonzalez was sentenced to serve 21 months in federal prison on Friday.

Dr. Gonzalez, along with 13 others, were convicted in the Forest Park Medical Center bribery scam, which involved doctors steering patients to the hospital for kickbacks.

The kickbacks, which totaled more than $40 million, were reportedly disguised as consulting fees or “marketing money” doled as a percentage of surgeries each doctor referred to Forest Park.

“Patient needs, not physician finances, should dictate where, when, and how patients are treated. Money should never be allowed to influence medical decisions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “We believe the stiff sentences handed down this week send a strong deterrent message: Violate anti-kickback laws, and you will face consequences.”

In total, the defendants have been sentenced to a combined 74+ years in federal prison and were ordered to pay a total o f$82.9 million in restitution.

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