FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. – A New Jersey doctor practicing in West Orange today admitted his role in a payment-for-patients scheme in which he took envelopes of cash in exchange for making patient referrals, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Dov Rand, 47, of Franklin Lakes, N.J., pleaded guilty today to one count of violating the federal healthcare program anti-kickback statute. Rand entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Dec. 13, 2011, Rand was arrested – along with 12 other New Jersey doctors and one nurse practitioner – and charged with accepting cash kickback payments from Orange Community MRI (“Orange MRI”), an Orange, N.J., diagnostic facility, in exchange for his referral of Medicare and Medicaid patients. During the course of the investigation, Rand and others were recorded taking envelopes of cash in exchange for their patient referrals. Orange MRI’s executive director, Chirag Patel, 36, of Warren, N.J., was arrested on Dec. 8, 2011, in connection with the scheme.
Starting in 2010, Orange MRI made monthly cash kickback payments to Rand in exchange for his referral of patients to Orange MRI for diagnostic tests. At the end of each month, individuals at Orange MRI printed patient reports that detailed how many tests Rand referred and used them to calculate the kickback payment owed to Rand. Pursuant to Rand’s agreement with Orange MRI, he was paid kickbacks for each MRI test on a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary referred to the facility.
Rand admitted receiving cash payments on more than one occasion in October and November 2011 in exchange for his referral of patients.
The count to which Rand pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. According to the terms of the plea agreement, Rand agreed to forfeit $8,325 as property derived from his criminal conduct. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Sept. 13, 2012.
Rand is the second person arrested in the sweep to plead guilty. Nurse practitioner Jose Castaneda, 37, of Clifton, N.J., pleaded guilty before Judge Cecchi on April 3, 2012. On May 4, 2012, another doctor charged in the scheme – Yash Khanna, 70, of Livingston, N.J. – was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of accepting kickbacks. The charges against the remaining defendants remain pending. The charges and allegations contained in the outstanding Complaints and Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Tom O’Donnell, for leading the investigation, and thanked Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for its vital role at the investigation’s inception.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Mack and Scott B. McBride of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Healthcare and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Anthony Pope Esq., Newark