Doctor Admits Accepting Thousands Of Dollars In Cash Bribes For Referrals To Lab Companies
CAMDEN, N.J. – A doctor with offices in Toms River, New Jersey, today admitted accepting thousands of dollars in exchange for patient referrals to two lab companies that performed blood and DNA testing, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Vincent Destasio, 54, of Toms River, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez in Camden federal court to Count 1 of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to accept cash bribes.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Destasio, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, was paid cash kickbacks by two sales representatives – Daniel Gilman, 63, of Ocean Grove, New Jersey, and Kenneth Roberson, 46, of Wall, New Jersey – who were partners operating PROMED, a marketing and sales company specializing in blood testing laboratories and DNA laboratory testing companies.
From March 2014 through May 2015, Gilman and Robberson solicited Destasio by paying him cash bribes for referring patient lab work to two separate laboratories for which Gilman and Robberson provided marketing and sales. One company (Company 1) was a blood testing laboratory company and the other was a DNA laboratory testing company (Company 2). Neither Company 1 nor Company 2 had any knowledge of or involvement in the kickback scheme.
Gilman and Robberson received monthly commission checks from the two companies for referrals. After receiving the commission checks from the two companies, Gilman and Robberson would identify the number of patients Destasio had referred and pay him a cash kickback based on those patients. Destasio was paid thousands of dollars in cash bribes for his referrals.
Destasio faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 26, 2016.
Gilman and Robberson have both pleaded guilty to an information charging them with conspiracy to bribe a physician and await sentencing.
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 guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney R. David Walk Jr. of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Camden.
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: John J. Bruno Jr., Esq., Rutherford, New Jersey