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Another Doctor Sentenced in Laboratory Test-Referral Scheme

NEW YORK (360Dx) – The US Department of Justice's investigation into a test-referral scheme run by a New Jersey-based clinical laboratory has resulted in another sentencing of a doctor on allegations he accepted bribes in exchange for test referrals.

On Thursday, Ralph Messo of Colts Neck, New Jersey was sentenced to 24 months in prison and fined $4,000 for his part in the scheme run by the now defunct Biodiagnostics Laboratory Services. He was also sentenced to two years of supervised release

Messo, who had offices in Colts Neck and in Staten Island, had previously admitted he referred patient blood specimens to Biodiagnostics in exchange for about $3,000 per month. The referrals generated at least $828,000 in business for Biodiagnostics, the US Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey said in a statement.

The investigation into Biodiagnostics, which had operated in Parsippay, New Jersey, has resulted in 53 convictions, DOJ said, including Basel Batarseh, Ahmed El Soury, and Aiman Hamdan and his wife Kristina Hamdan.

To date, more than $13 million has been recovered through forfeitures resulting from the investigation, DOJ said.