SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Two doctors employed by Sanford Health are suing the company and one of its neurosurgeons, accusing them of defrauding the federal government and harming patients by performing unnecessary surgeries.

Dustin Bechtold and Bryan Wellman filed the lawsuit in 2016, and a federal judge unsealed it Thursday.

The complaint says Sanford Health has been buying medical devices from a company owned by Dr. Wilson Asfora, and that the surgeon uses those devices in unnecessary spine surgeries. The suit says this violates anti-kickback laws.

The suit also says Sanford and Asfora billed Medicare and other programs for care that was never provided.

Sanford’s chief medical officer Dr. Allison Suttle denied the allegations in a statement to the Argus Leader, calling the doctors’ claims “baseless.”

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