Florida man pleads guilty in $4.6 million kickback scheme

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A Tampa, FL man pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme to receive kickbacks and bribes from labs in exchange for referrals of patient DNA samples and genetic tests, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey.

In a statement, the U.S. Attorney’s office said that Jeffrey Tamulski pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States in connection with a scheme to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute. Tamulski and five co-defendants had been charged in September 2019 in connection with the conspiracy and a related healthcare fraud scheme.

According to court documents, Tamulski, on behalf of certain labs, recruited outside marketing groups, including Ark Laboratory Network, which was owned by Tamulski’s co-conspirators, to refer patients’ DNA samples to the labs for genetic tests. Tamulski and his co-conspirators made kickback agreements with labs in which the laboratories paid Ark bribes in exchange for delivering DNA samples and orders for genetic tests. Ark concealed these kickback arrangements through fake invoices to the labs showing services provided at an hourly rate, even though the bribe amount had already been determined based on the revenue the labs received from Medicare or the amount paid for each DNA sample. From January 2018 through January 2019, Medicare paid approximately $4.6 million to these labs for genetic tests resulting from the referrals and DNA samples that Ark provided, for which Ark was paid at least $1.8 million in bribes.

The charge to which Tamulski pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense whichever is greatest. Tamulski is scheduled to be sentenced on August 6, 2024.

His codefendants Kacey C. Plaisance, Kyle D. McLean, Edward B. Kostishion, and Jeremy Richey previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Matthew Ellis has been charged in connection with a related scheme; his case is still pending.

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