Man who ran 7-year health fraud scam sen­tenced to 6 years

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - NEWS - By David Porter

NE­WARK, N.J. » One of two brothers who ran a bribesfor-re­fer­rals health fraud scam that brought in more than $100 mil­lion over sev­eral years was sen­tenced to six years in fed­eral prison Wed­nes­day.

David Ni­coll and his brother, Scott, were ar­rested in 2013 and pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy and money laun­der­ing through their New Jersey com­pany, Bio­di­ag­nos­tic Lab­o­ra­tory Ser­vices. Of more than 50 peo­ple who have pleaded guilty since then, more than three dozen were doc­tors who ad­mit­ted tak­ing bribes.

In a wa­ver­ing voice, David Ni­coll told the court Wed­nes­day he was “em­bar­rassed and ashamed” by his crimes. In ad­di­tion to the prison term, he has been or­dered to for­feit $50 mil­lion in pro­ceeds from the scheme.

The charges car­ried a com­bined 25-year max­i­mum sen­tence, but Ni­coll was given credit for co­op­er­at­ing with the gov­ern­ment. Pros­e­cu­tors had sought a term up to seven years, while Ni­coll’s at­tor­ney had ar­gued for a sen­tence of five years.

Scott Ni­coll was to be sen­tenced later Wed­nes­day.

At the time of the Ni­colls’ ar­rest, the U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice in New Jersey es­ti­mated the fraud was one of the largest of its kind ever un­cov­ered.

David Ni­coll was a trained nurse and for­mer phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sales rep, and his brother had worked sell­ing concert tick­ets when they bought a strug­gling lab in north­ern New Jersey in 2005. Within a year, they had hit upon a way to dras­ti­cally in­crease their in­come: Bribe doc­tors to steer blood sam­ples to BLS for test­ing, whether the tests were nec­es­sary or not.

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