NEWARK, NJ – A Middlesex County doctor with practices in Jersey City, was sentenced this week to 21 months in prison for accepting bribes in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running and elaborate scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, its president and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced in a press release Wednesday.
Anthony DelPiano, 55, of Monmouth Junction, pleaded guilty in February before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an information charging him with one count of accepting bribes.
Judge Chesler imposed the sentence Wednesday in Newark federal court, according to the release.
Including DelPiano, 38 people – 26 of them doctors – have pleaded guilty in connection with the bribery scheme, which its organizers have admitted involved millions of dollars in bribes and resulted in more than $100 million in payments to BLS from Medicare and various private insurance companies, the release said.
According to officials, the investigation has to date recovered more than $11 million through forfeiture.
According to documents filed in this and related cases and statements made in court:
DelPiano admitted that from October 2005 through March 2013, he accepted bribes in return for referring patient blood specimens to BLS and was paid approximately $2,300 per month.
In return for a total of $189,175 in bribes, DelPiano’s referrals generated at least $1,752,603.24 in lab business for BLS.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced DelPiano to one year of supervised release and fined him $10,000.
DelPiano must also forfeit $207,500 as part of his plea agreement, according to the release.
In the release, U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert; IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates, with the ongoing investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Andrew Leven; Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph N. Minish; Jacob T. Elberg, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Ward, Chief of the office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.
According to the release, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman reorganized the health care fraud practice at the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office shortly after taking office, including creating a stand-alone Health Care and Government Fraud Unit to handle both criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions of health care fraud offenses. Since 2010, the office has recovered more than $635 million in health care fraud and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the False Claims Act, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other statutes.