Prosecutors: Hospital owner to plead guilty to new counts

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors say the former owner of a California hospital imprisoned for his role in a $950 million fraud scheme has agreed to plead guilty to new charges after being accused of hiding $1 million earned by selling luxury cars.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that Michael Drobot faces charges that include wire fraud. They say the 74-year-old defied a court order that he forfeit the profits from the sale of the 1965 Aston Martin, 1958 Porsche, and 1971 Mercedes-Benz.

Drobot was sentenced in 2018 to five years in prison for bilking the government while the owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach.

Prosecutors in that case said Drobot paid $50 million in kickbacks to doctors and other medical professionals who referred patients to his hospital for spinal surgeries.

Some patients lived hundreds of miles away.

An effort to reach a lawyer for Drobot was not successful.

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