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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - A Cape Girardeau neurosurgeon faces federal charges of improperly steering medical equipment referrals to a shell company he operated with his fiancee.

The Southeast Missourian reports that a complaint alleges Dr. Sonjay Fonn and Deborah Seeger violated a federal anti-kickback law which seeks to prevent conflicts of interest and overuse of medical services.

A medical group filed the initial lawsuit under the False Claims Act in January 2012. The case was sealed until this month, when it was unsealed and dismissed. Federal prosecutors then refiled the suit on behalf of the government. The charges include two counts against Fonn of submitting false Medicaid and Medicare claims.

Defense attorneys call the suit over Fonn's use of spinal implants baseless.

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Information from: Southeast Missourian

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