- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A doctor who took part in a long-running bribes-for-test referrals scheme is now headed to prison.

Douglas Bienstock received a 37-month sentence Tuesday, federal prosecutors said. He also will have to serve a year of supervised release, pay a $75,000 fine and forfeit $79,695 he received through the scheme.

The 48-year-old Wayne resident, whose practice was in Hawthorne, had pleaded guilty last September to accepting bribes from Parsippany-based Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services.

Bienstock admitted that from February 2008 through October 2009, he got more than $2,500 per month under a sham service contract. The lab also paid him $100 in cash for each of a certain type of blood test that he ordered.

As a result of Bienstock’s referrals, Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services received about $640,000 in lab business.

Thirty-eight people - including 26 physicians - have pleaded guilty so far 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 the company from Medicare and various private insurance companies.

The investigation has recovered more than $11 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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