Scammers sentenced for NY Presbyterian $2.3M kickback scheme

Authorities sentenced and fined two more individuals and three companies for their involvement in an eight-year kickback scheme to defraud New York Presbyterian Hospital out of $2.3 million.

That brings the total to six companies and 14 individuals that have pleaded guilty or been convicted in the federal antitrust investigation of bid rigging, fraud, bribery and tax-related offenses in construction, maintenance and service contracts to the hospital's facilities operations department, the U.S. Department of Justice announced yesterday.

Among the convicted vendors were the former vice president and the former director of facilities operations at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Santo Saglimbeni and Emilio "Tony" Figueroa, respectively. Both allegedly awarded contracts for asbestos abatement, air monitoring and general construction to Cambridge Environmental & Construction Corp./National Environmental Associates and Oxford Construction & Development Corp., Forbes reported.

Federal investigators found that the kickbacks were funneled through Artech Corp., a bogus company Saglimbeni created in his mother's name to hide the kickbacks.

"The sentences imposed today are consistent with the seriousness of the crimes for which the individuals and companies were found guilty," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Joseph Wayland in the DoJ statement. "Today's sentences hold accountable the unlawful conduct of those involved in illegal kickback conspiracies."

Forbes contributor Bill Singer called the case "evidence of increasing corruption at the hospitals."

"The hidden cost of kickbacks and bribes imposes numerous challenges upon the victimized hospitals and their patients--overcharges for services that could have been obtained cheaper elsewhere, a lessening in the integrity of critical maintenance, and the whole host of crap that goes hand in hand with the corrosive nature of backdoor and under-the-table dealings."

For more information:
- read the DoJ statement
- here's the Forbes article

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