RIVER EDGE, N.J. -- Federal jurors in Newark on Monday convicted a 79-year-old River Edge family doctor of accepting $200,000 in bribes in exchange for test referrals.Jurors deliberated for just over four hours be following an 11-day trial before finding Bernard Greenspan guilty of all 10 counts brought against him:
- conspiring to commit violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Federal Travel Act and wire fraud;
- three violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute;
- three violations of the Federal Travel Act;
- three counts of wire fraud.
Greenspan was part of what U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman called "a long-running and elaborate scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, its president and numerous associates.
"Fishman's office has secured 43 convictions – 29 of them of doctors – 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.
It is believed to be the largest number of medical professionals ever prosecuted in a bribery case, the U.S. attorney said.
The investigation has recovered more than $12 million through forfeiture, he added.Last June, BLS -- which is no longer operational -- pleaded guilty and was required to forfeit all of its assets.
“We rightfully expect doctors to make their medical decisions based solely on what’s in the best interest of a patient,” Fishman said.
“Whether they are dealing with a routine procedure or grappling with a potentially serious condition, patients should never have to worry that a doctor has violated that trust for personal greed," he added.
The 10-count indictment sets out what Fishman called "an extremely lucrative pattern of soliciting and accepting illegal payments" for referrals to the lab, which produced roughly $3 million in business for BLS.
Greenspan "periodically solicited, and received from the BLS employees and associates, monthly bribe payments in the form of sham rental, service agreement, and consultant payments; received the bribes between March 2006 and April 2013 from BLS employees and associates," Fishman said.
He also "solicited and received other bribes," including payment for holiday parties for himself and office staff, the U.S. attorney said.
BLS hired – at Greenspan’s specific request – a patient of Greenspan’s with whom he was having a sexual relationship, he added.
Fishman credited special agents of the FBI; inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; IRS–Criminal Investigation; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph N. Minish and Danielle Alfonzo Walsman, and Jacob T. Elberg, chief of Fishman's Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Ward, acting chief of the office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.