Blood Lab Owner Sentenced To Nine Months In Prison For Paying Thousands In Cash Bribes For Referrals
NEWARK, N.J. – An owner of a blood diagnostic company located in Essex County, New Jersey, was sentenced today to nine months in prison for paying a doctor cash bribes for patient lab work referrals, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Phillip Biondello, 49, of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an information charging him with violating the Anti-Kickback Statute. Judge Arleo imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From June 2011 through June 2013, Biondello paid a doctor cash bribes in return for patient blood sample referrals to Biondello’s company, including a $24,000 bribe paid to the doctor on May 7, 2013. The doctor’s referrals generated approximately $176,710.84 for Biondello’s company.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Arleo sentenced Biondello to three years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special
Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, and special agents of 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 investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph N. Minish of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
U.S. Attorney Fishman reorganized the health care fraud practice shortly after taking office, 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 $1.29 billion 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.
Defense counsel: Joseph A. Hayden Jr. and Kevin Buchan Esq., Roseland, New Jersey.