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Doctor, 66, faces 3 years in prison in fraud scheme

May 17, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana doctor has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for a scheme to defraud Medicare and other health insurers.

The U.S. Justice Department said in a Friday news release that John Eastham Clark, 66, of Baton Rouge was sentenced to 37 months.

Clark pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Prosecutors said he was a co-owner of Louisiana Spine & Sports, a Baton Rouge pain management clinic.

Prosecutors said Clark and others submitted fraudulent claims indicating minor surgical procedures were done on patients on days following office visits. In fact, the procedures were done on the same day as the office visits.

Three others connected to the clinic have pleaded guilty in the investigation and will soon be sentenced.

Clinic billing supervisor Charlene Anita Severio has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud and two counts of health care fraud. She is scheduled to be sentenced May 22, according to the news release.

The Justice Department also said Gray Wesley Barrow, a medical doctor and a co-owner of the company, has pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme to receive approximately $336,000 in illegal health care kickback payments. Barrow is scheduled to be sentenced June 7

Also, the department said, Christopher William Armstrong, a former physician’s assistant at Louisiana Spine & Sports, pleaded guilty last year for his role in a scheme to unlawfully distribute thousands of oxycodone pills. Armstrong is scheduled to be sentenced June 24.

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