Ex-hospital CEO imprisoned for kickback scheme breaches plea deal

The former owner and CEO of Long Beach, Calif.-based Pacific Hospital, who is serving a prison sentence for orchestrating a more than $500 million kickback scheme, breached his plea deal with prosecutors, a federal judge said, according to the Press-Telegram.

Four things to know:

1. Michael Drobot was sentenced to more than five years in prison in January 2018 for running a 15-year kickback scheme. On Jan. 14 of this year, U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton ruled Mr. Drobot hasn't held up his part of a plea deal made with prosecutors in February 2014.

2. Mr. Drobot helped prosecute multiple co-defendants in the scheme; however, he didn't pay his full restitution, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph McNally. Mr. Drobot was ordered to sell three cars and give proceeds from the sale to the court. He instead "diverted the proceeds from the sale of [the Aston Martin and the Mercedes-Benz] to bank accounts that he controlled and ultimately used the funds for personal purposes." He also failed to sell his Porsche, according to a ruling by Judge Staton cited by the Press-Telegram.

3. Due to the judge's ruling, Mr. Drobot could now face charges of mail fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice that were tossed as part of the plea agreement. Prosecutors will also work to accelerate the sale of Mr. Drobot's $1 million home to recover the restitution.

4. In June 2018, nine defendants were charged in relation to the government's investigation into kickbacks physicians received for patient referrals for spinal surgeries performed at Pacific Hospital. They are among the dozens of physicians and other medical professionals allegedly involved in the scheme.

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