- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A New York City pediatrician is headed to prison for taking part in a long-running bribes-for-test referrals scheme involving a northern New Jersey firm.

Federal prosecutors say 47-year-old Demetrios Gabriel, a Brooklyn resident who practiced in Staten Island and Brooklyn, was sentenced Tuesday to 37 months in prison. He also will have to serve a year of supervised release once he’s freed.

Gabriel had pleaded guilty in February to accepting bribes from Parsippany-based Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services in exchange for unnecessary test referrals. Prosecutors say he received a flat fee of $3,000 per month in cash, plus additional cash based on the number of patient blood samples his practice referred to BLS each month.

He also received $1,500 per month through credit card payments to a restaurant he owns.

Prosecutors say 33 people - including 22 of doctors - have pleaded guilty in connection with the bribery scheme. Its organizers have admitted the scheme involved millions of dollars in bribes and resulted in more than $100 million in payments to BLS from Medicare and various private insurance companies.

The investigation has recovered more than $10.3 million so far through forfeiture.

Several people connected with the lab have pleaded guilty, including president and part-owner David Nicoll and his brother, Scott, a senior employee.

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