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Trouble brewing for medical center in North Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE- Tonight, there is trouble for a medical center in North Baton Rouge. The Investigative Unit has learned officials of Champion Medical Center were indicted in a massive kickback scheme totaling half a billion dollars in Texas.

For the past six months, leaders at Champion Medical Center have been trying to get an emergency room opened at their site near the airport. But, Mayor Kip Holden has been a vocal opponent of Champion saying the company has a sketchy background and more. Tonight, he says, the indictment of company leaders proves his point.

Getting an emergency room for North Baton Rouge continues to hit snag after snag. Tonight, an indictment might be the catalyst that puts the breaks on an emergency room at Champion Medical Center for good. The Investigative Unit traced two of those in the indictment to Champion Medical Center. They are Andrew Jonathan Hillman and Semyon Narosov. The federal indictment alleges 21 people allegedly took part in a massive illegal kickback scheme to drum up patients in Texas.

"The indictment basically says to everybody, even the skeptics that thought we didn't have a leg to stand on, it says this is a bogus company," Holden said. "They are here to wreak havoc on the system and people should not be subjected to abuse."

The Secretary of State's office lists the address of Champion Medical Center at Howell Place Boulevard near the airport. It's mailing address is at 5710 LBJ Freeway Suite 300 in Dallas, Texas. That address matches two directors: Andrew Jonathan Hillman and Semyon Narosov. Sources in the medical community say, they are some of the owners of Champion Medical Center. Mayor Kip Holden has vocally blasted Champion over this.

"When this was cast, people like me and the hospitals were cast as villains," Holden said. "Now people can see what we're telling them was true, and I can tell you it's not over yet. This saga is going to continue, and I would not be surprised if more indictments are handed down."

Council woman Chauna Banks Daniel has been a big supporter of Champion and trying to bring an emergency room to North Baton Rouge. She told The Investigative Unit the indictments in Dallas have no effect on the need for an emergency room in North Baton Rouge.

In a text message to me, Banks Daniel said she did not think the indictments of those tied to Champion Medical Center were news worthy. Holden called that crazy.

"You have to have your head stuck in a hole to not know this is news worthy," Holden said.

We reached out to Champion Medical Center for a comment. CEO Laura Brodhurst referred all questions to their media relations department. We never got a response back.

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