A Livingston family doctor pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to accepting bribes in a long-running scheme involving nearly a dozen other physicians to send patient referrals to a Parsippany laboratory, officials announced.
Joel Fischgrund, 60, pleaded guilty to one count of accepting bribes before U.S. District Judget Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement.
Fischgrund was one of 22 people, including 11 physicians, who pleaded guilty in the bribery scheme involving Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC, according the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Those involved in the scam accepted bribes in exchange for sending test referrals to Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services, according the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The scheme involved millions of dollars in bribes and resulted in more than $100 million in payments to Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services from Medicare and various private insurance companies, according the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The investigation has recovered more than $7 million thus far, according the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In federal court, Fischgrund admitted he was paid $1,500 a month under a sham consulting agreement with the Parsippany laboratory in return for referring patients’ blood specimens to Biodiagnostic Laboratory Service, according the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Fischgrund is facing a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the bribery charge. He also must forfeit the bribes he received from Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services.
Fischgrund sentencing is scheduled for April 1.