Morris County, N.J., Physician Admits Taking Bribes In Test-Referrals Scheme With New Jersey Clinical Lab
26th Defendant to Plead Guilty in Connection with Scheme
NEWARK, N.J. – A physician with a practice in Madison, N.J. admitted today to accepting bribes of $2,000 per month in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS) of Parsippany, N.J., its president and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Wayne Lajewski, 51, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of accepting bribes.
According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:
Lajewski admitted he accepted bribes of $2,000 cash per month over two years in return for referring patient blood specimens to BLS, for which BLS received more than $850,000.
The bribery count to which Lajewski pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 8, 2014. As part of his guilty plea, Lajewski agreed to forfeit $48,000, representing the bribes he received from BLS.
Including Lajewski, 26 people – including 15 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 recovered more than $7 million to date through forfeiture.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas O’Donnell; IRS– Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting 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 guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph 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 $535 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.
Defense counsel: Robert C. Scrivo Esq., Morristown, N.J.