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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A federal jury has convicted a 79-year-old New Jersey doctor of accepting kickbacks as part of a long-running, $200 million bribes-for-test referrals scheme run by a New Jersey blood testing lab.
Jurors deliberated for just over four hours Monday before finding Bernard Greenspan guilty of crimes including conspiracy, wire fraud and violating federal anti-kickback laws.
The River Edge resident faces a lengthy prison term when he's sentenced June 20.
Greenspan is the only defendant to go to trial in the wide-ranging fraud perpetrated by Parsippany-based Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services. More than 40 others, including more than two dozen doctors, have pleaded guilty.
Federal authorities in New Jersey had called the case the largest fraud of its kind ever uncovered. They estimated the Medicare program was defrauded of tens of millions of dollars.
Greenspan was charged with accepting about $200,000 in bribes from the company over several years in exchange for sending his patients' blood samples there. BLS allegedly made $3 million from its arrangement with Greenspan.
The bribes came in the form of inflated rental payments for the company to use space in Greenspan's office; bogus consulting fees and even a job at the lab for Greenspan's alleged mistress, prosecutors told jurors at the start of the trial.
Greenspan's attorneys characterized him as a respected doctor who practiced medicine for 50 years and even made house calls well after they were the norm. They also told jurors Greenspan accepted legitimate rental payments from BLS because he wanted patients to be able to give blood samples in his office to a BLS phlebotomist.
Former BLS President David Nicoll; his brother and co-founder, Scott Nicoll, who previously sold concert tickets for a living, and Craig Nordman, David Nicoll's cousin, are among those who have pleaded guilty.
David Nicoll testified against Greenspan and faces up to 25 years in prison when he's sentenced on a date to be determined. Authorities said he used company profits to spend $300,000 on a Ferrari automobile, $392,000 on tickets to sporting events and $154,000 at a strip club and restaurant.
His now-defunct company pleaded guilty last year and forfeited its remaining assets.
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