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Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- The former billing supervisor of Louisiana Spine & Sports Medicine, shown here at 4545 Bluebonnet Blvd., has been ordered in federal court to pay more than $200,000 in restitution in a fraud case.

A former owner and medical director of a Baton Rouge pain management clinic was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison Friday in a health care fraud scheme, federal authorities said.

Dr. John Eastham Clark, who co-owned Louisiana Spine & Sports on Bluebonnet Boulevard, also was ordered to pay nearly $255,000 in restitution by Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick.

Dick sentenced the 66-year-old Clark to 37 months in prison. He pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Charlene Anita Severio, 56, of Walker, who was the clinic's billing supervisor, also pleaded guilty in February. She will be sentenced next week on conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and two counts of health care fraud.

Clark and Severio were accused of falsely telling Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield that minor surgical procedures happened the day after an office visit so the clinic could be reimbursed for both the visit and the procedure.

Federal prosecutors allege that resulted in nearly $516,000 in fraudulent claims over 10 years beginning in 2005.

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