Physician Sentenced To One Year In Prison For Accepting More Than $174,000 In Bribes For Referrals To Mobile Diagnostic Company
TRENTON, N.J. – An internal medicine physician practicing in Jamesburg, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 12 months in prison for accepting bribes in exchange for patient referrals to a mobile diagnostic company, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Paresh Patel, 55, of Franklin Township, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper to an information charging him with violating the Anti-Kickback Statute. Judge Cooper imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From September 2009 through December 2013, Paresh Patel accepted more than $174,000 in bribes for referring his patients to the Morris County-based mobile diagnostic testing company, Biosound Medical Services (referenced in the Information as “Company 1”), operated by Nita K. Patel and Kirtish N. Patel (no relation to Paresh Patel). As part of the bribes, Biosound Medical Services paid Paresh Patel’s property tax obligations and home renovation expenses.
In addition to the prison term, Paresh Patel was also ordered to pay a $6,000 fine. He has also forfeited more than $174,000 he received as part of the bribery scheme.
Nita K. Patel and Kirtish N. Patel, pleaded guilty on Nov. 17, 2015 to health care fraud for forging physician signatures on diagnostic reports that were never reviewed by a specialist physician and were actually authored by Kirtish N. Patel, who did not have a medical license. Both await sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited 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, and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Alfonzo Walsman 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: Riza Dagli Esq.