A Medical Device Daily

Artes Medical (San Diego) reported that following victories in U.S. District Court over actions initiated by a dissident stockholder group, this group said that it has now developed a proposal that would include a sizeable capital investment.

The board is planning to meet with this investor group this week.

"As we have continually noted, the company remains open and willing to consider any legitimate proposal for the sale or a strategic transaction that offers the potential to maximize long-term shareholder value," said Christopher Reinhard, executive chairman of Artes. "We have a stockholder-approved corporate governance process that is intended to protect shareholders from abusive takeover efforts by investors who are unwilling to provide shareholders with just value and control premium for their investment."

He added, "Consistent with our position and the company's stockholder approved protections from abusive takeover attempts, if the Shack group is prepared to provide an appropriate economic mechanism to enhance long-term shareholder values, we welcome an opportunity to fully understand their proposal."

In other legalities, Miami physician Ronald Harris was sentenced to 84 months in prison and medical clinic administrator Mariela Rodriguez, 40, was sentenced to 70 months in prison for defrauding the Medicare program in connection with large-scale HIV infusion fraud schemes, according to Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida.

For Harris's role in a $26.2 million scheme, Judge Cecilia Altonaga of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered that he be placed on three years of supervised release following his release from prison, and pay $9,882,274 in restitution to the Medicare Trust Fund, in addition to his prison sentence.

Harris pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., to cause the submission of false claims and to pay healthcare kickbacks; one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud; and three counts of submitting false claims to the Medicare program. Harris pleaded guilty in connection with his role as the medical director for Physicians Med-Care and Physicians Health Med-Care, two Miami-area HIV clinics that purported to provide HIV infusion services to Medicare beneficiaries.