Raghuveer Nayak, the surgery center operator, political fundraiser and intermediary for ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is set to plead guilty to healthcare fraud
charges today in federal court, the U.S. Attorney's office has announced.
Mr. Nayak, 58, who allegedly served as a middleman between Mr. Blagojevich and former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in the attempted sale of President Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat, was arrested in 2012 and charged with tax fraud and violations of laws against kickbacks. He was never charged in connection with the Senate seat matter.
Federal authorities accuse him of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to doctors in exchange for patient referrals to his chain of Chicago outpatient surgery centers.
Mr. Nayak had been set to go on trial on Oct. 1. Instead, he will appear today before Judge Robert Gettleman in U.S. District Court in Chicago to change his plea to guilty, the U.S. Attorney's office says. Further details on his plea agreement were not immediately available.
The U.S. Attorney's office had charged Mr. Nayak with 18 criminal counts, but earlier this month, prosecutors dropped 10 counts against him. Mr. Nayak also opted at about the same time for a bench trial, rather than a jury trial.
A native of India, Mr. Nayak arrived in Chicago in the 1970s. He started a chain of surgery centers in the 1990s with a location in Rogers Park.
His attorney, Thomas McQueen, did not immediately return a call for comment."Blagojevich go-between to plead guilty in health care fraud case" originally appeared in Crain's Chicago Business.