On September 7, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston announced a grand jury indictment of medical device company SpineFrontier, Inc., and two of its executives, Kingsley Chin and Aditya Humad, for violating the anti-kickback statute by allegedly paying surgeons bogus “consulting” fees to induce the surgeons to use SpineFrontier products in their surgeries. According to the indictment, “[b]etween in or about late 2012 and at least in or about June 2019, [the defendants] and their co-conspirators paid and directed the payment of millions of dollars in bribes to surgeons . . . pursuant to a sham consulting program that paid those surgeons between approximately $250 and $1,000 for each hour the surgeon supposedly spent performing consulting services.” The defendants allegedly “paid surgeons as if the surgeons had spent hundreds of hours evaluating products, discussing industry trends, and educating medical residents, when they had not.”
The indictment is the latest event in a long-running investigation that has seen two other individuals enter guilty pleas to kickback charges and six surgeons enter into civil settlement agreements in which they admitted accepting kickbacks from SpineFrontier. The government also has intervened in two whistleblower qui tam lawsuits against SpineFrontier and its executives.