Two Doctors Each Sentenced to 37 Months in Prison for Taking Bribes in Test-Referrals Scheme with New Jersey Clinical Lab
NEWARK, N.J. – Two doctors were sentenced to prison today for accepting bribes in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running and elaborate scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, New Jersey, its president and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Eugene DeSimone, 60, of Eatontown, New Jersey, who practiced in Secaucus, and Franz Goyzueta, 67, of New York, who practiced in New York, were each sentenced to 37 months in prison. DeSimone and Goyzueta previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to separate informations charging them each with one count of accepting bribes. Judge Chesler imposed both sentences today in Newark federal court.
Including DeSimone and Goyzueta, 38 people – 26 of them doctors – 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 so far recovered more than $10.5 million to date through forfeiture.
According to documents filed in this and related cases and statements made in court:
DeSimone accepted $1,500 in cash per month between August 2010 and March 2013 in return for referring patient blood specimens to BLS, for which BLS received $980,000. Goyzueta accepted as much as $3,000 per month from BLS between December 2013 and March 2013 in return for patient blood specimen referrals, for which BLS received approximately $713,249.
In addition to the prison terms, Judge Chesler sentenced both DeSimone and Goyzueta to serve one year of supervised release; he fined Goyzueta $75,000 and DeSimone $5,000. As part of their guilty pleas, DeSimone must forfeit $260,500 and Goyzueta must forfeit $72,000.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert; IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of 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.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph N. 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 $635 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.