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The jury in the case of United States of America v. Dr. Serge Obukhoff, (Case No. CR:18-00140-JLS), issued a verdict of Not Guilty on all 35 counts of conspiracy and healthcare fraud contained in the Indictment, after a nearly three week federal criminal jury trial,

According to case documents, the case stemmed from allegations that Michael Drobot Sr., former owner of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach paid $2.3 million in kickbacks to Neurosurgeon Dr. Serge Obukhoff to induce the neurosurgeon to direct his patients to Paciific Hospital in violation of the anti-kickback statute, honest services fraud statute, conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud.

Additionally, the Indictment alleged that Dr. Obukhoff accepted kickbacks in the form of free rent and a paid medical directorship with Willow Medical Group as inducement to direct spinal surgeries to Monrovia Hospital. The indictment also includes honest services fraud and Travel Act charges. Obukhoff practiced out of various medical clinics in Southern California.

Defense attorneys countered that the defendant honestly held the belief that the $2.3 million was paid to him as part of an option agreement for a management company to buy his medical practice.

Additionally, Dr. Obukhoff was advised by the attorney for the management company, Michael Tichon, that the agreement was legal, valid and customary.

Dr. Obukhoff testified that he had done more than a 1000 surgeries at Pacific Hospital prior the option agreement and that he did not know that Michael Drobot Sr., and the healthcare company’s attorney Michael Tichon engineered a 15 year healthcare fraud conspiracy that raked in $500 million.

Dr. Obukhoff testified that he was lied to by the attorney and Michael Drobot. Dr. Obukhoff further testified that his directorship with Willow Medical Group was valid and that in fact he never sought out or received any kickbacks in the form of rent.