New Jersey Doctor Sentenced to More Than Three Years in Prison for Taking Bribes in Test-Referrals Scheme Involving New Jersey Clinical Lab
NEWARK, NJ—A doctor with an office in North Arlington, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 37 months in prison for accepting bribes in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, New Jersey, its president, and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Angelo Calabrese, 57, of Pine Brook, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an information charging him with one count of accepting bribes. Judge Chesler imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
Including Calabrese, 37 people—25 of them physicians—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 investigation has to date recovered more than $10.5 million through forfeiture.
According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:
Calabrese admitted accepting more than $130,000 in bribes to refer at least $600,000 in lab business to BLS. From 2010 through 2013, Calabrese received over $4,500 per month from BLS through sham consulting and rental agreements.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Calabrese to serve one year of supervised release and ordered him to pay a fine of $5,000. As part of his guilty plea, Calabrese must forfeit $334,000.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel; the 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 inspectors of 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 Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph N. Minish, Senior Litigation Counsel Andrew Leven, and Jacob T. Elberg, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Ward of the office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.
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.