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Doctor sentenced for role in medical lab bribery scheme

May 12, 2018

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Another doctor involved in a long-running bribes-for-test referrals scheme with a now-defunct New Jersey firm is headed to prison.

Federal prosecutors say Ralph Messo received a two-year sentence Thursday. The 56-year-old Colts Neck resident had pleaded guilty in January 2015 to accepting bribes.

Messo, who has practices in Staten Island, New York and Colts Neck, got the bribes from Parsippany-based Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services in exchange for test referrals. Prosecutors say Messo was paid about $3,000 per month and his referrals generated at least $828,000 in lab business for the company.

Fifty-three people — including 38 physicians — have pleaded guilty or been convicted in the scheme. It involved millions of dollars in bribes and resulted in more than $100 million in payments to BLS from Medicare and various private insurers.

The investigation has recovered more than $13 million through forfeiture.

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