Las Vegas Sun

August 21, 2014

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Spine surgeon Mark Kabins gets probation, must pay restitution

A Las Vegas spine surgeon who pleaded guilty to concealing fraud was sentenced today to five years of probation and six months of home detention, said U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden of Nevada. He is also required to pay $3.5 million in restitution to a victim who became paralyzed after surgery.

Dr. Mark B. Kabins, 49, who was facing charges of fraud and conspiracy for his role in an alleged scheme involving local lawyer Noel Gage and medical consultant Howard Awand, pleaded guilty Nov. 23 to one count of misprision of felony, which is defined under federal law as knowing that another person committed a felony and not notifying appropriate authorities about the crime as soon as possible, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

U.S. District Judge Justin L. Quackenbush handed down the sentence on the charge today after accepting Kabins’ guilty plea.

By pleading guilty, Kabins admitted to falsifying medical records and conspiring with Gage and Awand to defraud a woman who was paralyzed after routine back surgery in 2000.

In addition to probation and home confinement, Kabins was sentenced to 250 hours of community service and to pay $3.5 million in restitution to victim Melodie Simon, a former Olympian.

Kabins was facing up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count if he had been convicted of the original charges against him: one count of conspiracy and seven counts of mail and honest service fraud.

Gage and Awand were charged with conspiracy and fraud in 2007. The men are accused of being part of a network of Las Vegas physicians and lawyers who cheated clients out of honest services by, among other things, protecting doctors from malpractice lawsuits and sharing kickbacks from legal settlements.

Their trial is set to begin Feb. 10.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, the IRS criminal investigation unit and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven W. Myhre and Daniel R. Schiess.

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