Trial of 79-year-old doctor spotlights $200M fraud case

Markets Associated Press

More than 40 people have pleaded guilty in a $200 million health care fraud scheme run by a New Jersey blood testing lab.

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This week, the government's evidence will be tested for the first time by a 79-year-old family doctor who hopes to convince a jury he is innocent.

Bernard Greenspan is charged with violating federal anti-kickback laws and other crimes. He allegedly took about $200,000 in bribes over several years from Parsippany-based Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services.

Opening statements are scheduled for Tuesday in federal court.

Federal authorities announced charges against BLS and its principals, brothers David and Scott Nicoll, in April 2013. Since then, 41 people, including more than two dozen doctors, have pleaded guilty.

The company is believed to have made $200 million between $2006 and 2013, with more than $100 million as a result of the bribery scheme, according to authorities. U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman estimated Medicare was defrauded out of tens of millions of dollars.

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The U.S. attorney's office alleges the company bribed doctors by paying them inflated prices for leased office space. In one, BLS allegedly paid a doctor $2,200 per month for about 100 square feet of office space.

BLS paid for Greenspan's holiday office party and gave a job to an employee with whom he was having a sexual relationship, the criminal complaint alleges.

Greenspan's attorney said his client's dealings with the lab were legal, legitimate business transactions. He said Greenspan continues to practice medicine at an office in Hawthorne.