- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) - A doctor who serves as mayor of a northern New Jersey town said that he’s ecstatic two of three charges against him have been dismissed but that he will continue to fight the remaining charge of bribery.

Judge Christopher Kazlau in Hackensack dismissed fraud and conspiracy counts against Democratic West New York Mayor Felix Roque last week, but allowed the bribery count to remain.

Roque also operates the Pain Relief Center medical practice, and the attorney general’s office alleges that between 2007 and 2012, Roque referred patients to medical imaging centers controlled by Rehan Zuberi in exchange for cash and campaign contributions.

Prosecutors said Roque made off with about $250,000 in the scheme. Zuberi was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to running a criminal enterprise that gave millions in bribes and kickbacks to dozens of doctors.

Roque and his lawyer, Christopher Adams, have maintained Roque never took money for referrals, wasn’t involved in the scheme, and never defrauded insurers by failing to report the alleged kickback income in reimbursement claims.

“This entire commercial bribery count relies exclusively on the word of an admitted convicted liar, whom the state has given a bounty to,” Adams said. “He is incentivized to lie about anyone.”

The Record newspaper reports Zuberi is giving the state evidence about his payoffs to health care providers to reduce his sentence. He stands to receive six months for every five health care professionals he turns in.


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