A west Pasco podiatrist who pleaded guilty earlier this year to taking kickbacks from a medical supply company won't go to prison, but he will have to pay a $5,000 fine.
Dr. Nimesh Patel, who practiced in Pasco and Hernando counties, will also have to repay the government $8,000, which equals the value of the gifts he took from the company. He is also likely to lose his medical license.
According to a federal plea agreement, Patel took gift cards and sports tickets in 2009 from a company that supplied synthetic skin used for treatment of foot ulcers in exchange for using the product.
The U.S. government filed charges in January because many of Patel's patients were beneficiaries of Medicare, the federal insurance program for the elderly.
U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven sentenced Patel on Tuesday in Tampa to a reduced sentence after prosecutors did not object. Court records indicate he cooperated with authorities. Records also said the investigation did not reveal any evidence that Patel's actions compromised his patients' care.