Monday, February 22, 2016

Doctor Charged With Accepting Cash From Sales Representatives For Referrals To Lab Companies for Blood and DNA Testing

A New Jersey doctor with offices in Toms River, New Jersey, was indicted for accepting approximately $25,000 in cash bribes over a one year period from sales representatives in exchange for referring his patients to two lab companies that performed blood and DNA testing. It is contended that the laboratories did not know of or approve this arrangement.

On February 12, 2016, Dr. Vincent Destasio was indicted by a federal grand jury in Newark on one count of conspiracy to accept cash bribes and two substantive counts of accepting cash bribes. The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

According to the indictment and statements made in court, Dr. Destasio was paid cash kickbacks by two sales representatives (Daniel Gilman and Kenneth Robberson) who were partners operating PROMED, which was a marketing and sales company specializing in blood testing laboratories and DNA laboratory testing companies. 

Sales reps Gilman and Robberson have already both pleaded guilty to an information charging them with conspiracy to bribe a physician and are awaiting sentencing.  They admitted in their plea that from March 2014 through May 2015, Gilman and Robberson solicited Dr. Destasio by paying him cash bribes for referring patient lab work to two separate laboratories for which Gilman and Robberson provided marketing and sales. 

One company (Company 1) was a blood testing laboratory company and the other was a DNA laboratory testing company (Company 2). Neither Company 1 nor Company 2 had any knowledge of or involvement in the kickback scheme.   

Gilman and Robberson received monthly commission checks from the two companies for referrals, for 10 percent of the reimbursements paid to the companies by various payors, including Medicare. After receiving the commission checks from the two companies, Gilman and Robberson would identify the number of patients Dr. Destasio had referred and pay him a cash kickback based on those patients. Dr. Destasio was paid a total of approximately $25,000 in cash bribes for his referrals. 

Dr. Destasio faces a statutory maximum prison sentence of five years on each count in the indictment and a maximum fine equal to the greatest of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. He will also forfeit $25,000, if convicted.

Posted by Tracy Green, Esq. 


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