- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 8, 2016

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A New York doctor is headed to prison for three years for his role in a long-running bribes-for-test-referrals scheme involving a New Jersey lab company.

Federal prosecutors say Bret Ostrager received a 37-month sentence Wednesday. He also must forfeit $101,271.

The 51-year-old Woodbury, New York, resident had medical practices in Nassau County. He pleaded guilty in December to three counts in an indictment charging him with conspiracy and other counts.

Ostrager admitted getting monthly cash bribes of roughly $3,300 from lab employees and associates of Parsippany-based Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services from February 2011 to April 2013. He also periodically solicited and received meals and tickets to entertainment and sporting events that cost thousands of dollars.

In exchange, Ostrager referred patient blood samples to the lab, which generated about $909,000 in business for the firm.

Thirty-nine people - including 26 physicians - have pleaded guilty in the bribery scheme. Its organizers have admitted the scam involved millions of dollars in bribes and resulted in more than $100 million in payments to the company from Medicare and various private insurance companies.

The investigation has recovered more than $12 million so far through forfeiture.

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