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The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton, NJ announced on November 22 that primary care physician Yitzchok “Barry” Kurtzer of Monsey, NY, and his wife pleaded guilty to soliciting and receiving kickbacks and bribes in exchange for ordering genetic tests. Kurtzer had offices in the Scranton, PA area that his wife helped manage. Two of his employees also pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy to violate the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS).

Beginning in 2018, Kurtzer solicited and received monthly cash payments of up to $5,000 in exchange for collecting DNA samples from Medicare patients and sending them to clinical laboratories in NJ and PA for genetic testing. His employees helped collect the DNA swabs and also received payments. Medicare was billed over $1.3 million for tests induced by the scheme. Conspiracy to violate the AKS is punishable by up to five years in jail and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is largest.

Other doctors In the Scranton area previously pleaded guilty to similar charges of accepting kickbacks from clinical laboratories in exchange for referrals for genetic testing.

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