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Wayne Doc Gets 37 Months Behind Bars For Massive Bribery Scheme

Jorge J. Figueroa of Wayne practiced out of West New York.
Jorge J. Figueroa of Wayne practiced out of West New York. Photo Credit: Google Maps

WAYNE, N.J. — An internal medicine doctor who lives in Wayne was sentenced Wednesday to 37 months in prison for accepting bribes in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, its president and numerous associates, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Jorge J. Figueroa, 59, who has a practice in West New York, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to accepting bribes, Fitzpatrick said. Judge Chesler imposed the sentences Wednesday in Newark federal court.

Figueroa admitted that he had accepted checks, cash and other bribe payments totaling approximately $200,000 from BLS employees and associates between May 2007 and April 2013, according to documents filed in this case and statements made in court.

In exchange, Figueroa generated more than $1.4 million in lab business for BLS, Fitzpatrick said.

The investigation has thus far resulted in 51 convictions – 37 of them 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, according to Fitzpatrick.

It is believed to be the largest number of medical professionals ever prosecuted in a bribery case, authorities said.

The investigation has to date recovered more than $13 million through forfeiture, the release says. On June 28, 2016, BLS -- which is no longer operational -- pleaded guilty and was required to forfeit all of its assets.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Figueroa to one year of supervised release and fined him $7,500. He must also forfeit $199,899, authorities said.

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