FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark physician today admitted receiving nearly $30,000 in cash kickbacks for diagnostic referrals of his patients, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Dr. Eddie Rosa, 47, of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of soliciting and receiving payments for his patient referrals in violation of the federal health care anti-kickback statute.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From 2007 through December 2011 Rosa agreed with representatives of Orange Community MRI LLC (Orange MRI), a diagnostic testing center in Orange, N.J., that Orange MRI would pay him a set amount of cash for every MRI and CAT scan he referred.
Rosa admitted that on Oct. 13, 2011, he received $870 in cash from a government informant at his office in Newark in exchange for referrals. On Nov. 10, 2011, again at his office in Newark, Rosa received another kickback for patient referrals, this time receiving $1,070 in cash.
The anti-kickback charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 25, 2013.
Rosa is the eleventh person to be convicted in the government’s investigation of Orange MRI and its cash-for-patients scheme. Eight physicians and one nurse practitioner have pleaded guilty to receiving kickbacks and have agreed to forfeit $288,705 in illegal kickbacks from Orange MRI. Two other defendants, Ashokkumar Babaria, a physician and Orange MRI’s former medical director, and Chirag Patel, Orange MRI’s former executive director, each pleaded guilty to paying kickbacks to health care providers and have agreed to forfeit their corrupt gains from the scheme. Babaria agreed to forfeit his revenues traceable to corrupt referrals, which the government has estimated could reach as much as $2 million. Patel has forfeited $89,180. The investigation is continuing and the remaining defendants are charged in criminal complaints at this time.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Tom O’Donnell, as well as criminal investigators with the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s criminal investigator program, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Mack and Scott B. McBride of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Health Care and Government Fraud Unit.
Defense counsel: Stacy Ann Biancamano Esq., West Orange, N.J.