BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Rainbow City pain clinic owner pleaded guilty Tuesday in the latest of a series of cases involving a multi-million dollar kickback and health care fraud case, U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona announced.

David Lyle Shehi, 42, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pay kickbacks and commit health care fraud. According to the plea agreement, Shehi owned a pain management clinic in Rainbow City called Etowah Pain. From 2016-18, Shehi allegedly conspired to commit health care fraud and to receive kickbacks in exchange for his medical practice ordering items and services that would be billed to Medicare and other health insurance programs.

The plea agreement stated QBR, a Huntsville-based company, paid Shehi a per-patient fee for tests ordered from QBR and reimbursed by insurance. Though Shehi’s practice was paid on a per-patient basis, the payments were disguised as hourly payments for the ordering physician’s time and staff’s time.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and receive kickbacks is a five-year prison sentence.