NEWARK, NJ — A Monmouth County, N.J. man pleaded guilty today to his role in a long-running bribes-for-test-referrals scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, New Jersey; its president; and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Len Rubinstein, 42, of Holmdel, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiring to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Travel Act, with money laundering, and with making cash payments of thousands of dollars to doctors on behalf of BLS.
Rubinstein is the 14th individual to plead guilty in connection with BLS’s sophisticated bribery scheme, which its organizers have admitted involved the payment of millions of dollars in bribes and resulted in more than $100 million in payments to BLS from Medicare and various private insurance companies.
According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:
On April 9, 2013, federal agents arrested David Nicoll, 39, of Mountain Lakes, New Jersey; Scott Nicoll, 32, of Wayne, New Jersey, a senior BLS employee and David Nicoll’s brother; and Craig Nordman, 34, of Whippany, New Jersey, a BLS employee and the CEO of Advantech Sales LLC—one of several entities used by BLS to make illegal payments. They were charged by federal complaint with the bribery conspiracy, along with the BLS company and Santangelo. In June, David and Scott Nicoll, Nordman, and four other associates of BLS pleaded guilty to charges related to their involvement. Santangelo pleaded guilty last month to charges relating to his role in the scheme. Ten employees or associates of BLS and four physicians have pleaded guilty to their roles in the bribery scheme.
From May 2012 through April 2013, Rubinstein agreed with the Nicolls and others to pay doctors to refer patients to BLS for testing of blood specimens. He paid cash bribes to doctors as part of the conspiracy. Rubinstein admitted he used Delta Consulting Group LLC—an entity he controlled—to hide the money he received from BLS and used to make bribe payments to doctors.
Rubinstein faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the bribery conspiracy charge and 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on the money laundering charge or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for November 12, 2013. He has also agreed to forfeit $250,000. The investigation has so far recovered more than $3 million through forfeiture.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Tom O’Donnell; IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates, with the ongoing investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph 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.