ACA.antifa.01.032021

A Baton Rouge doctor was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to taking kickbacks from a drug testing laboratory.

According to federal prosecutors, Dr. Gray Wesley Barrow, 61, received $336,000 to which he wasn't entitled. The government said he would send his patients' urine specimens to a certain lab, then receive a cut of the money paid to the lab by Medicare and other health care programs. 

Barrow, a former LSU track-and-field athlete, had pleaded guilty in November 2018 to one count of conspiracy to pay and receive health care kickbacks. The scheme took place from April 2014 to July 2016, prosecutors said. 

Barrow had been a co-owner of Louisiana Spine & Sports, a pain management clinic. He was ordered to make $336,000 in restitution.

Two years ago, a former physician assistant at Louisiana Spine and Sports was sentenced to seven years in prison after admitting he took part in a scheme to illegally distribute 40,000-plus oxycodone pills. Christopher William Armstrong of Prairieville apologized before the judge for making "poor decisions."

One of the pain management clinic's former co-owners, Dr. John Eastham Clark, of Baton Rouge, was sentenced before that to 37 months in federal prison and ordered to pay nearly $255,000 in restitution in an unrelated fraudulent billing scheme. The clinic's former billing supervisor, Charlene Anita Severio, of Walker, was put on probation for two years and ordered to pay more than $254,000 in restitution for her role in the scheme.