Indian-American Doctor Gets 46 Months in Jail for Bribery - The New Indian Express

Indian-American Doctor Gets 46 Months in Jail for Bribery

Published: 25th April 2014 09:37 AM

Last Updated: 25th April 2014 10:03 AM

An Indian-American radiologist who owned and operated a diagnostic testing center in New Jersey has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for overseeing a sprawling cash-for-patients scheme to bribe other doctors for testing referrals.            

The sentencing by a federal court in New Jersey comes after Dr Ashok Kumar Babaria, 64, pleaded guilty before the US District Judge Claire C Cecchi to an information charging him with one count of offering and paying doctors and other health care providers illegal cash kickbacks for patient referrals in violation of the federal health care anti-kickback statute.       

In addition to the prison term, the judge also sentenced Babaria to three years of supervised release, ordered him to forfeit over USD 2 million and fined him USD 25,000.         

Federal prosecutors alleged that Babaria, then a licensed radiologist, and medical director and owner of Orange Community MRI LLC (Orange MRI) made nearly USD 2 million in corrupt revenues from Medicare and Medicaid billings for tests performed on patients who were referred to Orange MRI by doctors who were paid cash kickbacks for those referrals.     

Babaria negotiated, approved and paid kickbacks to physicians for each diagnostic test referred and provided cash to his subordinates to do the same, prosecutors said.           

During his guilty plea proceeding, Babaria admitted to several specific acts, including his 2009 approvals of kickback arrangements to pay one doctor roughly USD 100 for each of his MRI referrals and another doctor USD 75 for each MRI referral and USD 25 for each ultrasound or DEXA scan referral.

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