- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - Three more people have pleaded guilty to bilking the government of nearly $600 million in a billing scheme involving Pacific Hospital in Long Beach.

The Justice Department announced Friday that Michael Drobot, son of the hospital’s owner, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy and a charge involving illegal kickbacks. He’s facing up to 10 years in federal prison.

A San Clemente chiropractor pleaded in March and a marketer for Pacific entered a conspiracy plea last week. Each faces up to five years behind bars.

Authorities say the years-long scheme involved paying dozens of doctors, chiropractors and others to refer thousands of patients to Pacific Hospital for spinal surgeries. Many surgeries were billed to California and federal workers’ compensation systems.

Six others previously pleaded guilty, including the hospital owner.

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