A Long Island doctor has been indicted on charges of taking cash bribes and tickets to New York Mets games and concerts in return for steering blood testing work to a New Jersey lab, the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey said.
The indictment released Tuesday charges Bret Ostrager, 50, of Woodbury, with violating kickback statutes and the Federal Trade Act by steering the business to Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services of Parsippany, New Jersey. Ostrager got monthly bribes worth about $3,300 from lab employees and associates between February 2011 and April 2013, according to the indictment.
Ostrager's referrals generated about $909,000 for BLS, federal prosecutors said.DataLI crime stats
The bribes included tickets to a New York Mets baseball game, a New York Knicks basketball game, a Katy Perry concert, and a Justin Bieber concert, the indictment said.
He faces up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 if convicted.
Marc Agnifilo, Ostrager's lawyer, said in an email, "We are pleading not guilty because bribery requires that Bret did something to breach his medical judgment. The government cannot show this because it never happened. He's a good doctor and this case will show that he never breached his duty to his patients."
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement that 38 people, 26 of them doctors, pleaded guilty in the scheme involving more than $100 million in payments to the lab from Medicare and private insurers. Seven BLS employees and associates pleaded guilty in the case, prosecutors said.