Chiropractor Michael E. Barri owned and operated the Santa Ana companies Tri-Star Medical Group and Jojaso Management Company. He pleaded guilty in 2016 to a conspiracy count and admitted that he received illegal kickbacks for referrals to Pacific Hospital of Long Beach from 2009 through October 2013.
He was sentenced in federal court on May 4. He was committed on Count One of the Information to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a term of twelve months and one day. He was ordered to surrender himself to the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons on or before 12 noon, on July 9, 2018.
Upon release from imprisonment, he will be placed on supervised release for a term of three years.
He pleaded guilty on March 11, 2016 to a conspiracy count and admitted that he received illegal kickbacks for referrals to Pacific Hospital of Long Beach. During a nine-month period that ended in 2013, Barri admitted receiving $158,555 in illegal kickbacks after referring a dozen patients to Pacific Hospital, where they had back surgeries. As a result of his referrals, Pacific Hospital billed insurance carriers approximately $3.9 million for spinal surgeries.
Barri has also been indicted by an Orange County Grand Jury in 2014 with charges of kickbacks and related offenses involving compounded medications, along with Kareem Ahmed the owner of Landmark Medical, and 13 other named providers. Much of that case was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in 2016. However some of the charges have been re-filed by the Orange County District Attorney, and it is not clear how much of the original indictment will proceed, and what defendants will be involved.
Despite his conviction, Barri filed case A150549 with the California First District Court of Appeal seeking to have the new lien fraud law, SB 1160 and AB 1244, declared to be unconstitutional, so that he and his companies could continue to collect workers’ compensation liens. Among other theories, Barri alleged “The Lien Stay Provision Violates Petitioners’ Right to Due Process Under the California and United States Constitutions.”
He did not get very far,, as the Court of Appeal rejected his request. The petition for a peremptory and/or alternative writs of mandate, prohibition, or other appropriate relief was denied as premature.
And there is some irony. As of today, Barri continues to hold a California license as a chiropractor with no record of any disciplinary action taken against him.