NEWARK, N.J. – A Florida man today admitted his role in a conspiracy to receive kickbacks and bribes from laboratories in exchange for referrals of patient DNA samples and genetic tests, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Norman Smiley, 80, of Boca Raton, Florida, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Smiley owned and operated Sun Health Advocates LLC, a company that was in the business of acquiring patient DNA samples and physicians’ orders for purposes of submitting those samples and orders to clinical laboratories for genetic testing, including Metric Lab Services LLC and Spectrum Diagnostic Labs LLC. Smiley, on behalf of Sun Health, entered into illicit agreements with the Metric and Spectrum laboratories under which the laboratories paid Sun Health kickbacks in exchange for delivering DNA samples and orders for genetic tests. Sun Health concealed these arrangements by issuing sham invoices to the laboratories that purportedly reflected services provided at an hourly rate even though the parties had already agreed upon the kickback amount, which was based on the revenue the laboratories received from Medicare. Metric and Spectrum paid Sun Health approximately $1.16 million in kickbacks as part of the scheme.
The charge to which Smiley pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross grain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. Sentencing is scheduled for March 16, 2022.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert; and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Mahoney, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Bernard J. Cooney, Chief of the Government Fraud Unit.