Region 8 Surgeon Pleads Guilty to Accepting Kickback on Equipment Sale

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A Searcy neurosurgeon who demanded kickbacks for using medical equipment in his practice pleaded guilty to one federal bribery count.  Three other counts were dismissed.

Federal prosecutors say Patrick Chan made a deal where he would receive 50 percent of all commissions earned from equipment sales related to his patients.  Prosecutors say that in a sting operation Chan received a payment of $3,000 in January 2004.  From then until June 2006, the indictment says Chan received as much as $8,000 a month in kickbacks.

Chan faces up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine, plus he will have to pay the government $31,000 to cover costs of the investigation.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jane Duke said prosecutors would wait for a pre-sentencing report on Chan before making a decision on whether to ask for the maximum sentence against him.

Also, Chan settled a civil lawsuit against him over the kickbacks.  He agreed to pay about $1.5 million to settle the claim, with $1 million going toward the federal government, $101,000 to the state of Arkansas and $350,000 to "whistle blower" John Thomas of Little Rock.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)