By Associated Press - Monday, November 16, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - A Detroit-area doctor who hurt patients and cheated insurers through fraudulent spinal surgeries says he’ll stick to his guilty plea.

Dr. Aria Sabit returned to federal court Monday, six weeks after a judge rejected a plea deal that likely would have put him in prison from 9 years to 11 years.

Sabit’s guilty plea now comes without a formal deal with prosecutors. It means Judge Paul Borman will have more discretion in sentencing him.

Sabit pleaded guilty to fraud, acknowledging that he performed unnecessary or improper surgeries that caused serious injury. He said he also got kickbacks in Ventura, California, for using certain implants.

Sabit moved to the Detroit area in 2011 while he was under investigation by regulators in California.

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