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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Not guilty plea in healthcare fraud

August 19, 2008|From the Associated Press

A hospital chief executive pleaded not guilty Monday in a scheme to recruit homeless people as phony patients and bill government programs for millions of dollars in unnecessary health services.

City of Angels Chief Executive Dr. Rudra Sabaratnam entered the plea in U.S. District Court

He and the operator of a skid row health assessment center were charged with conspiring to receive and pay kickbacks for patient referrals and other charges. If convicted, Sabaratnam could face 50 years in federal prison.

The federal indictment says millions of dollars was improperly billed to government programs for the poor by City of Angels and two other Los Angeles-area hospitals.

His trial is set for Sept. 30.

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