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From: rpautrey2 on 2 Mar 2010 18:49
Medical center owner who recruited patients from skid row gets 3 years
February 22, 2010 | 5:26 pm
A former co-owner of City of Angels Medical Center was sentenced
Monday to more than three years in federal prison for paying illegal
kickbacks for patients recruited from the homeless on downtowns skid
Robert Bourseau, 75, was sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered
to pay $4.1 million in restitution for his role in a scheme to defraud
Medicare and Medi-Cal. He pleaded guilty in June to paying a recruiter
to deliver homeless patients to his hospital for unnecessary medical
The scheme was uncovered after an investigation into alleged patient
dumping in skid row. Federal prosecutors say Bourseau and a medical
center co-owner, Dr. Rudra Sabaratnam, paid several hundred thousand
dollars between 2004 and 2007 to recruiter Estill Mitts and others for
Sabaratnam, 65, of Brentwood pleaded guilty in 2008 to paying
kickbacks and is slated to be sentenced April 5. He and Bourseau have
already agreed to pay $10 million to the government to settle civil
litigation, prosecutors said.
Mitts, 64, who ran a downtown center recruiting homeless patients,
pleaded guilty in September 2008 to conspiracy to commit healthcare
fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. Prosecutors allege he earned
$20,000 a month in kickbacks.
A third City of Angels executive, Dante Nicholson, is awaiting
sentencing in June. Last year he pleaded guilty to paying kickbacks
for patient referrals.
In a related case stemming from an alleged patient recruiting scheme,
a former Tustin Hospital and Medical Center executive, Vincent Rubio,
49, has also agreed to plead guilty to paying illegal kickbacks.
-- Richard Winton