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Doc Pleads Guilty in Referrals for Cash Scheme

Charles Goldberg pleaded guilty to bribery, an offense which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

An internist with a practice in Montclair admitted Wednesday to accepting bribes in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running scheme, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

Charles Goldberg, 60, of West Orange, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court to a charge of one count of accepting bribes. 

The scheme was operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services of Parsippany, its president, and numerous associates, Fishman said.

Including Goldberg, 23 people—12 of them physicians—have pleaded guilty 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 Fishman.

Goldberg admitted accepting bribes of $1,800 per month through a sham lease agreement with BLS, which identified the waiting room, bathroom and one examination room in Goldberg’s office as being leased, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office.

The bribery count, to which Goldberg pleaded guilty, carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

As part of his guilty plea, Goldberg agreed to forfeit $58,000, representing the bribes he received from BLS. 

The sentencing date has yet to be determined.

The BLS investigation has recovered more than $7 million to date through forfeiture.

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