Attorney Who Consulted on Emergency Department Project at Pasadena Hospital Pleads Guilty in Kickback Scheme

LOS ANGELES—An attorney and former construction manager for Huntington Memorial Hospital pleaded guilty this afternoon to federal mail fraud charges, admitting that he participated in an illegal kickback scheme. John Haw, 52, of Aliso Viejo, pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud before United States District Judge Percy Anderson. Haw performed legal and consulting services for Huntington Memorial Hospital while the institution was in the process of completing a large-scale construction project involving the renovation and expansion of its Emergency Department. Under contracts with the hospital, Haw was paid as much as $275 an hour, and from March 2008 through April 2009, Huntington paid Haw nearly $350,000.

During this same period, Haw had an agreement with David Hamedany, Huntington’s director of construction, under which Haw paid kickbacks in exchange for promises that Haw would continue to receive work and that Hamedany would try to get more billable hours for Haw. As part of the agreement, Haw paid an entity controlled by Hamedany—Cyrus Engineering—more than $56,000 in kickbacks, according to Haw’s plea agreement. Haw is the fourth person to be convicted in connection with kickbacks and related schemes that victimized Huntington Memorial Hospital. Judge Anderson sentenced David Hamedany in January to three years in federal prison and ordered him to pay $4.8 million in restitution.

Last month, Alexander Svidler, a San Francisco-based construction executive who pleaded guilty to mail fraud, was sentenced to 18 months in prison (see: Tony Hamedany, the brother of David Hamedany, is scheduled to be sentenced on January 14, 2013, in connection with a kickback scheme involving Columbus Manufacturing Inc ., a San Francisco-based company where Tony Hamedany served as director of engineering. Haw is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Anderson on February 4, 2013. As a result of today’s guilty pleas, Haw faces a maximum statutory sentence of 40 years in federal prison, although the plea agreement contemplates a sentence of approximately one year.

Judge Anderson will make the final determination as to what sentence Haw will receive. The investigation into the kickback schemes was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Published on: 2012-11-26

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