Forest Park Kickback Allegations Continue

James M. Stanford | 2.24.17


The scandalous saga at Forest Park continues as new allegations of corruption and bribery emerge in an illegal health care kickback case.

In a plea agreement for the Forest Park co-founder, Dr. Richard F. Toussaint Jr., submitted last week, new allegations were made that surgeons sought the highest bidder from hospitals competing to entice them to bring their patients to those hospitals. Forest Park is alleged to have been paying more than $1.2 million per month in illegal kickbacks.

The scathing allegations include claims of illegal bribery and kickbacks to prominent bariatric surgeons who include another Forest Park co-founder Dr. Wade Barker, as well as Dr. William Nicholson and Dr. David Kim.

Dr. Toussaint, a Dallas anesthesiologist, was convicted in 2016 in a $10 million fraud scheme in connection with medical services for which he billed, but never performed, including one where he was actually under anesthesia himself.

In the plea agreement, Dr. Toussaint plead guilty to a conspiracy count related to paying and receiving health care bribes and kickbacks as well as a count of commercial bribery—a substantial reduction from the 20 counts he was previously facing. Although a judge will have to approve the plea deal, Dr. Toussaint is still facing up to 10 years in prison on the 2 counts.

The importance of this case is that North Texas is on high alert for scrutiny and doctors need to understand their compensation structures and steer clear of any arrangements that may cross the line of legal compliance.