New Jersey Doctors Admit to Taking Bribes

Two doctors practicing in Secaucus and Hawthorne, New Jersey recently admitted that they accepted various bribes in exchange for test referrals. The bribery scheme was operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), and led to guilty pleas by each accused doctor.

One of the doctors admitted that he accepted cash payments of $1500 every month from August 2010 to March 2013. In return, he referred various blood specimens from patients to BLS. The other doctor also referred patient blood specimens to BLS, and received more than $2500 per month for these specimens. In all, the doctors generated approximately $1.6 million in business for BLS through the bribery scheme.

The two doctors were required to return a combined total of $339,000 that they received during the scheme as a part of their guilty plea. They face up to five years in prison for taking part in the scheme, as well as a potential $250,000 fine each. The FBI also arrested several employees of BLS that were involved in making the illegal payments. In total, there are now 31 people who have pleaded guilty in this scheme, with potentially more to come as the investigation continues.

A case like this is a sobering reminder of the potential penalties that a doctor could face if he or she accepts bribes or kickbacks from agencies. Under the Stark Law, these types of kickbacks are strictly prohibited, but still remain all too common in the health care industry.

If you require representation in a similar case or would like advice on how to deal with compliance issues related to bribery and kickbacks, consult a dedicated New Jersey health care compliance attorney at Buttaci Leardi & Werner, LLC.

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Posted in: Compliance, Healthcare Criminal Defense, Reimbursement