Trial: American Spine Center's Dr. Atif Malik will receive 2 trials for kickback, tax crime accusations — 8 key points

Written by Megan Wood | June 30, 2017 | Print  |

Atif Babar Malik, MD, of Frederick, Md.-based American Spine Center, will face two separate trials for allegedly receiving kickbacks and participating in a tax fraud scheme, The Frederick News-Post reports.

Here is what you need to know:


1. On June 28, 2016, Dr. Malik and four others were indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly participating in a $1.37 million kickback scheme.


2. Prosecutors will argue Dr. Malik accepted $244,000 from the kickback scheme, which involved a Linden, N.J.-based urine lab testing company paying the physicians for referrals. American Spine Center required patients prescribed pain medications to give urine samples for medication and narcotic monitoring. Between the spring of 2011 and August 2012, the center sent between 700 and 1,000 urine samples monthly for testing.

3. In April 2017, Dr. Malik's attorneys asked for two separate juries, noting the jury would be swayed when deciding whether he properly reported his taxes if they also heard he had been involved in illegal activity.


4. On June 22, 2017, U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis decided to give Dr. Malik two trials.


5. Sandeep Sherlekar, MD, co-founder of American Spine Center, was among those indicted in 2016. Dr. Sherlekar died by suicide in September 2016, according to Frederick police. His arraignment was planned for Oct. 7, 2016.

6. Prosecutors will argue Drs. Malik and Sherlekar billed for procedures inappropriately, claiming they performed anesthesia services and nerve blocking procedures as two separate services requiring two physicians when the procedure only requires one physician. By naming two physicians on the bill, they received higher reimbursements.


7. Konstatin Bas, CEO of the urine lab testing company, pled guilty and may see a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced Dec. 5.


8. Mubtagha Shah Syed, a marketing agent who worked on behalf of the lab company to solicit medical practices to send blood and urine specimens for testing, pled guilty to administering the deal between American Spine Center and the urine lab testing company.


9. Muhammad Ahmad Khan, CEO of American Spine Center, was also among those indicted.


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