Law & Justice

Hillsborough Man Sentenced for Bribing Doctors in $100M Test Referral Scheme

5696c66f30c4318b0148_hillspixusaglogo.jpeg
5696c66f30c4318b0148_hillspixusaglogo.jpeg

NEWARK, NJ – Five individuals including a Hillsborough resident  were sentenced Friday for bribing doctors 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 Craig Carpenito announced.

Doug Hurley, 38, of Hillsborough and Kevin Kerekes, 52, of Florham Park were both sentenced to 24 months in prison. Luke Chicco, 45, of Garden City, NY, was sentenced to 21 months in prison. Kristina Hamdan, 40, of Paterson was sentenced to 41 months in prison. David McCann, 45, of Lyndhurst, was sentenced to three years of probation.

U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler imposed all five sentences in Newark federal court.

Sign Up for E-News

Hurley, Kerekes, and Chicco previously pleaded guilty in June 2013 to separate informations charging them with one count of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Federal Travel Act and one count of money laundering.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Hurley, Chicco, Kerekes, and Hamdan a year of supervised release. Hurley, Chicco, and Kerekes must also pay forfeiture of $800,000, $850,000, and $1.2 million, respectively. Hamdan must pay forfeiture of $1,209,890.36.

The investigation has thus far resulted in 53 convictions – 38 of them doctors – 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. It is believed to be the largest number of medical professionals ever prosecuted in a bribery case.

The investigation has to date recovered more than $13 million through forfeiture. On June 28, 2016, BLS, which is no longer operational, pleaded guilty and was required to forfeit all of its assets.

Hamdan pleaded guilty to Counts One and Thirteen of an indictment charging her with conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Federal Travel Act and the honest services wire fraud statute, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. McCann pleaded guilty to an information charging him with conspiring to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Travel Act.

According to documents filed in this and related cases and statements made in court:

Hurley, Kerekes, and Chicco each admitted that from the fall of 2010 through April 2013, they conspired with BLS president and part owner, David Nicoll and his brother, Scott Nicoll, to pay bribes to doctors in the forms of cash, checks and other means in order to induce them to refer patient blood specimens to BLS. Hurley, Kerekes, and Chicco also admitted that in some instances, they paid bribes to doctors through sham consulting companies, which they created and controlled, in order to hide the fact that BLS was the true source of the bribes.

Hamdan admitted that from November 2009 through April 2013, she paid doctors illegal bribes in exchange for blood specimen referrals to BLS. For example, Hamdan bribed Yousef Zibdie, an internal medicine doctor with a practice in Woodland Park, in exchange for generating more than $900,000 in lab business for BLS. The bribes were funded by BLS and, in an effort to obscure that BLS was the true source of the payments paid to the doctors by Hamdan, she made the payments through a sham consulting company that she created and controlled.

McCann paid thousands of dollars in cash on a monthly basis between December 2011 and April 2013 to numerous physicians on behalf of BLS in exchange for the doctors’ referral of blood specimens to BLS.

Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark; inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Ruth M. Mendonca; IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bryant Jackson in Newark; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert, with the ongoing investigation.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Joseph N. Minish, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Danielle Alfonzo Walsman, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Protection Unit and Jacob T. Elberg, Chief of the Health Care and Government Fraud Unit, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Ward of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16 wearing a black collar. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.

 

Warren Financial Planner Fined $500K, Barred from Selling Securities for Defrauding Seniors of $6.1 Million, NJ Attorney General Says

June 16, 2018

NEWARK, NJ –  A Warren resident and his company, a Morris County investment advisory firm, were fined $500,000 in civil penalties and barred from selling securities for fraudulently selling at least $6.1 million in unregistered securities to elderly and retired New Jersey investors, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced on Friday. 

The Bureau of ...

Moms Helping Moms Foundation Receives Overwhelming Support from Community to Help Mothers this Mother’s Day

June 20, 2018

North Plainfield, NJ - Mother’s Day is often celebrated by showering the women in our lives with beautiful flowers, heartfelt cards, and taking them on special outings to show them how much they mean to us. Yet, for many low-income mothers living in our community, they struggle each day to provide the basics for their babies.

Diapers are a necessity yet one in three families in the ...

On Angels Wings: Helping First Responders Around the Globe

On Angel's Wings is a volunteer group of Firefighters and EMS workers that dedicate their time and resources to collect  outdated firefighting equipment, gear and apparatus that does NOT meet current NFPA and OSHA standards in the United States. 

 

These items would be disposed of in the garbage or a landfill, but On Angel's Wings is able to take this equipment and ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Mon, June 25, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Tue, June 26, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Wed, June 27, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Obituaries

Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Manutti Marina in Belmar: Top Choice for Boating, Fishing and All-Around Family Fun

June 12, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — It’s no secret that Belmar Manutti Marina ranks among the best boating destinations along the Atlantic coast.

Tucked along the eastern shoreline of the idyllic Shark River — just a five-minute trip by boat to the ocean — the state-of-the-art marina is a top choice among boaters looking to stay for the season, enjoy a vacation or spend the weekend.

In ...

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16 wearing a black collar. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.

 

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

To Our Republican Supporters in Warren Township,

June 12, 2018

 

I want to thank the voters of Warren Township for the overwhelming support Gary and I received on the June 5th primary election.  This would not have been achievable without the hard work of our families, many friends and supporters as well as the loyal Republicans that cast a vote for us and our shared goals.  

 

The campaign is not over until the ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

Dear Editor:

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by ...

Watchung’s Rizzi Ties Record at Rotary Track and Field Meet, North Plainfield Middle School Dominates in Awards Tally

June 9, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - With an overcast sky and pleasantly cool temperatures, young student athletes from area middle schools and one elementary school gathered for the 91st Annual Rotary Track and Field Meet, held June 6 at the Hub Stine Athletic Complex in Plainfield.

Vincent Rizzi, holder of the Meet high jump records for boys ages 12 and 13, tried valiantly to best the 14 year old boys’ ...

Thousands Expected for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

SCBP Biz Fest 2018 Draws Record Crowd

SOMERSET, NJ - More than 500 people attended Biz Fest 2018, Somerset County's ‘hyper-local’ trade show and networking event, on Thursday at the Imperia.

The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) organized the event.  SCBP Vice President of Business Services Chris Edwards said that this year's Biz Fest was a huge success. 

"This has been ...

Update: Police Break Up Fight Involving 40-50 People at Bridgewater Commons Mall

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported in an incident that shut down Bridgewater Commons Mall Thursday evening after a fight involving a crowd of 40-50 people.

Police are still investigating unconfirmed reports of shots being fired, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

The mall is closed for the evening as the investigation continues.

Somerset County ...

March for Watchung Library and Rally Set for Saturday

WATCHUNG, NJ - Supporters of keeping a Watchung Library in Watchung have organized a March For Watchung Library to be held on Saturday, June 16. 

The Coalition to Save the Watchung Library is rallying support and have asked all who want to participate to “paint a sign, put on some purple, and come out and join your friends and neighbors for a Rally on the Green and ...

Thousands Expected for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

Third-annual Juneteenth Parade and Heritage Festival in New Brunswick this Weekend

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Vulcan Pioneers of New Brunswick, comprising the city's Black Fire Fighters Association, will host the Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 16 to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth celebrations are held across the country to mark the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865. That state was one of the last locations to learn of ...

Manutti Marina in Belmar: Top Choice for Boating, Fishing and All-Around Family Fun

BELMAR, NJ — It’s no secret that Belmar Manutti Marina ranks among the best boating destinations along the Atlantic coast.

Tucked along the eastern shoreline of the idyllic Shark River — just a five-minute trip by boat to the ocean — the state-of-the-art marina is a top choice among boaters looking to stay for the season, enjoy a vacation or spend the weekend.

In ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...