Doctor admits role in medical lab bribery scheme

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A New York City doctor has pleaded guilty in a long-running bribes-for-test referrals scheme involving a northern New Jersey firm.

Federal prosecutors say 46-year-old Surender Gorukanti of Brooklyn pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting bribes. He faces up to five years in prison and will forfeit $14,000, which prosecutors say represents the bribes he got from Parsippany-based Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services.

A pediatrician with offices in Staten Island and Brooklyn, Gorukanti got $1,000 per month in return for referring patient blood specimens to BLS.

Prosecutors say 25 people — including 14 physicians — have now pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme.

They say the lab bribed doctors to refer patients and perform unnecessary tests, which resulted in more than $100 million in payments to BLS from Medicare and various private insurers.

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