News reports state that five more New York doctors have admitted to officials that they took bribes in exchange for test referrals in an operation allegedly run by a New Jersey company. Two of the physicians are from Staten Island; two from Wayne and one from Franklin Lakes.
Four agreed to plead guilty to accepting bribes in violation of the Federal Travel Act. One of the doctors, a 52-year-old from Wayne, has reportedly pled guilty to a violation of the Anti-Kickback statute, as well as conspiracy to commit bribery, violating the Federal Travel Act, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the report, two brothers with medical practices in Staten Island, admitted to accepting cash bribes from Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services of Parsippany. Court documents state that company employees also paid for lap dances for the brothers, as well as sex acts performed by strippers.
In exchange, the siblings referred their patients’ blood tests to the lab company, together generating more than $1.5 million in business for the firm.
Travel Act convictions can be punished by up to 5 years in prison, along with a fine of up to $250,000.
Federal Anti-Kickback statute violations can result in up to 5 years in prison. The wire fraud charges can mean up to 20 years in prison, plus enormous fines ($250,000 or twice the gross amount gained by the unlawful acts).
The Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services scandal has resulted in 50 arrests, including the arrests of 36 doctors. The scheme reportedly involved more than $100 million in payments from Medicare and private insurers to the company.
You can speak to an experienced New York City attorney about the numerous safe harbors in the Anti-Kickback Statute, as well as exceptions to the Stark Law and related matters.