New Jersey doc gets 2.5 years behind bars for MRI kickbacks scheme

July 12, 2013 by Sony Salzman

A New Jersey cardiologist gets a 2.5 year prison sentence for his participation in an illegal cash-for-patients kickbacks scheme.

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Cardiologist Shashi Agarwal was sentenced to 2.5 years in jail for his role in a healthcare kickbacks scheme. The judge found Agarwal guilty of raking in more than $101,750 through an illegal deal with an Orange, N.J., MRI diagnostic facility to refer patients in exchange for cash.

Court documents said the diagnostic facility paid Agarwal $100 for each Medicare or Medicaid patient he referred for an MRI or CAT scan. During the sentencing, Agarwal agreed to hand over the thousands in bribe money.

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The Garden State's U.S. Attorney's Office reported that a police investigation into the scheme led to arrest and criminal prosecution of 15 people, 12 of which have already pleaded guilty.

At least 4 other New Jersey doctors have been sentenced to shorter stints in prison and subsequent home confinement for their involvement. Daisy Deguzman will spend 6 months in jail and 6 months under house arrest. Dov Rand, Lucio Cardoso and Rameshcha Kania were sentenced to 5, 4 and 3 months in jail and home confinement, respectively.

For more coverage of medical device kickback scandals, click here.