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New Jersey Doctor Pleads Guilty in $2 Million Kickback Case

A New Jersey doctor who ran a medical-resonance imaging center pleaded guilty to directing a kickback scheme that prosecutors said led to $2 million in business from doctors who took payments for patient referrals.

Ashokkumar Bararia, 62, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, where prosecutors charged 13 doctors and a nurse practitioner on Dec. 13 for taking illegal payments to refer patients to Orange Community LLC in Orange, New Jersey.

Bararia was the medical director and “owner-in-fact” of Orange Community, according to a criminal charge that said he negotiated, approved and paid kickbacks of $25 to $100 for diagnostic tests referred between 2008 and 2011. The center provided diagnostic tests such as MRIs, computed axial tomographies, ultrasound imaging and echocardiograms.

Bararia faces as many as five years in prison. He was released on $500,000 bail after appearing in court.

His attorney, Joseph D. Mancano of Philadelphia, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the plea.

The case is U.S. v. Bararia, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

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