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Tampa man pleads guilty in X-ray fraud

Five people, including one from Tampa, pleaded guilty Monday to taking part in a $10-million X-ray film fraud.

The defendants admitted to bilking medical centers through phony invoices and delivery statements, stealing film, knowingly buying stolen film and taking bribes.

The guilty pleas were the second round in the federal government's continuing investigation of the X-ray film industry, code-named "Operation Catscam."

On Feb. 3, eight men pleaded guilty and indictments against five others were unsealed in connection with the investigation.

Pleading guilty Monday were two owners of X-ray film distributorships and three former hospital employees, including Gary Chapman, 41, of Tampa, the former assistant manager of radiology at Christ Hospital in Jersey City.

Chapman admitted that he took bribes to approve more than $475,000 in bogus film delivery invoices. He also said he took payoffs to give Med X-Ray Co. of East Orange a two-year film solution contract, and stole and sold an undetermined amount of film from Christ Hospital.

All five were released on bail pending sentencing April 15, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra said.

Chapman faces up to 10 years in prison, fines of $250,000 and restitution.

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