Local doctor enters guilty plea in federal court for role in kickback scheme

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Michelle Kapon waived her indictment and pleaded guilty to a bill of information

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A doctor who earlier this year had a bill of information filed against her in federal court for her role in a kickback scheme today entered guilty pleas.

Michelle Kapon, 41, waived being indicted and instead pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Henderson in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio to charges of soliciting kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program, offering or paying kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program and receipt of kickbacks in connection with federal health care.

A presentence investigation will be completed before she is sentenced. A sentencing date has not been set yet, according to court records. She is free on a personal recognizance bond.

Two other doctors, Samir Wahib and Joni Canby, were indicted the same time the bill of information was filed against Kapon, charging them with conspiracy to solicit kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program, offering or paying kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program, obstruction and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Kapon is accused of conspiring with the other two doctors to take money in exchange for tests for sexually transmitted diseases to be performed.

The scheme lasted from March 2014 to January 2017, the court documents said.

The documents said Kapon accepted four checks from Wahib, for a total of $5,105 from Oct. 27, 2014 until Jan. 9, 2017.

The documents said Wahib also paid kickbacks to Canby in exchange for her sending specimens to him to be tested.

The payments also violated federal law because the tests were provided to some patients through Medicare and Medicaid, the information said.

Both Wahib and Canby have been arraigned and are both free on bond. Court records do not show when their next court appearances may be.

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