HomeIndian AmericanSurgeon sentenced for accepting bribes to perform surgery

Surgeon sentenced for accepting bribes to perform surgery

A judge sentenced a neurosurgeon to serve five years in prison for taking $3.3 million in bribes to perform spinal surgeries.

Times of San Diego reports U.S. District Judge Josephine L. Staton also ordered Lokesh Tantuwaya, 55, to give up the $3.3 million in ill-gotten gains.

Prosecutors say Tantuwaya accepted the kickback for referring patients to Pacific Hospital for their surgeries, reports Latestly. That hospital is no longer in business. Its owner Michael Drobot received a sentence of 63 months in prison for his role in 2018.

Tantuwaya admitted in his plea bargain he knew of the money being given to him for referring patients to Pacific Hospital.

According to NDTV, Tantuwaya is Indian American.

“Despite his privileges at San Diego-area hospitals, [Tantuwaya] caused several patients to travel from Imperial County and San Diego County up to Pacific Hospital for spine surgery so that [Tantuwaya] could get his bribes,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum, the Department of Justice said. “This resulted in numerous patient-victims enduring the physical anguish of multi-hour trips after invasive spinal surgeries, in addition [to] dealing with the mental anguish of now wondering whether they needed a surgery, whether the medical hardware drilled into their bones was legitimate hardware, and whether they should have trusted [Tantuwaya] with their lives.”

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