A New Jersey family doctor was charged this week with accepting bribes in exchange for referring patients to a lab as part of a widespread scheme in which 26 doctors have already pleaded guilty.
Bernard Greenspan, 78, was charged Tuesday with violating the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Federal Travel Act and committing wire fraud.
Damian Conforti, Greenspan's attorney, said the doctor has been treating patients for 50 years and will continue to treat patients.
“I'm disappointed that the government has taken this tack, for what we feel and have always felt has been good patient care, they've turned into a bribe/kickback relationship with a blood lab,” said Conforti, a partner with Calcagni & Kanefsky.
So far, 39 individuals, including 26 doctors, have pleaded guilty in connection with the alleged scheme, which resulted in more than $100 million in payments from Medicare and private insurers to Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services of Parsippany, N.J., according to the New Jersey U.S. attorney's office. It's thought to be the largest number of medical professionals ever prosecuted as part of a bribery case, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Greenspan allegedly netted $200,000 in bribes from the lab in the form of fake rental, service agreement and consultant payments as well as payments for office holiday parties, according to the U.S. attorney's office. The lab also allegedly hired, at the doctor's request, a patient with whom the doctor was having a sexual relationship. The lab got about $3 million in business from Greenspan's referrals, according to the attorney general's office.
Attempts to reach the lab for comment were not immediately successful Thursday.