An operator of 14 Chicago-area imaging centers will settle allegations that it gave illegal kickbacks to doctors to win patient referrals, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.

As part of the settlement, MIDI LLC, of Virginia, will pay $1.2 million, with a large amount going toward funding state grants for low-income patient care. Also, it will no longer be able to pay referring doctors so-called "lease agreements" or "technical service agreements."

The Chicago attorney general’s office said these agreements served as guises that paid doctors to refer patients to MIDI’s "Open Advanced MRI” facilities.

More than 20 Chicago-area radiology centers, of which MIDI was the largest, were discovered in a widespread kickback scheme. Some smaller centers have already settled.

According to the Tribune, the attorney general’s office intervened in 2007 in the civil lawsuit first brought by plaintiff, John Donaldson, who operates a competing MRI service in Illinois. Under Illinois’ whistle blower law, Donaldson and his attorneys are eligible to receive small, undisclosed portion of the settlement.

The remaining $840,000 will be distributed in grants for low-income patients, according to the attorney general.

The lawsuit alleged that the defendant MRI centers violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, the state’s antikickback law, and the insurance Fraud Prevention Act.