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Press Release

Spine Surgeon Arrested On Charges He Performed Unnecessary Surgeries And Billed Health Insurance Programs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio
CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer

CINCINNATI – Federal and state health care fraud investigators arrested Abubakar Atiq Durrani, 44, Mason, Ohio today based on a federal complaint alleging that he convinced patients to undergo medically unnecessary spinal surgeries then billed private and public healthcare benefit programs millions of dollars for the fraudulent services.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation Cincinnati Field Office (FBI), Robert Corso, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Bret Flinn, Resident Agent in Charge, Defense Criminal Investigation Service (DCIS) announced the arrest.

Durrani owns a private practice called the Center for Advanced Spine Technologies (CAST) with offices in Evendale and Florence, Kentucky.

The complaint charges Durrani with one count of health care fraud and one count of making false statements in health care matters. Health care fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The crime of making false statements in health care matters is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Durrani will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman in Cincinnati at 1:30 today.

Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by agents and officers of the agencies named above, along with the Ohio Medical Board and Kentucky Medical Board, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Mangan and Emily Glatfelter, who are representing the United States in the case.

Anyone suspecting health care fraud, waste or abuse can report it by calling the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General at 800-447-8477.  To learn more about health care fraud prevention and enforcement go to Ohioans can report suspected instances of health care fraud to Attorney General DeWine’s office by calling 1-800-282-0515.

A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Updated July 23, 2015