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Former marketer for Morris County-based laboratory admits soliciting kickbacks in multimillion-dollar COVID-19 testing kickback conspiracy

NEW JERSEY – A New York man admitted his role in a kickback conspiracy involving COVID-19 testing, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced Tuesday.

David Weathers, 61, of the Bronx pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Newark federal court on Feb. 26 to an indictment charging him with conspiring to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute by soliciting kickbacks for the referral of COVID-19 test samples, Sellinger said.

“The defendant in this case has admitted to seeking payments for sending COVID-19 tests to a particular lab for processing. There is no place in our health care system for illegal payments made in attempt to influence medical decisions. My office will continue to prosecute those who attempt to corrupt the health care system,” Sellinger said.

“It took fraudsters no time at all to hunt for a get rich quick scheme when the pandemic started,” FBI – Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy said. “Weathers and his conspirators set their eyes on the federal government and the funding made available under the CARES Act. He now admits to asking a lab in New Jersey for kickbacks when he provided COVID-19 test samples, which were ultimately paid for by federal funding. Anyone who believes they will get away with their crimes as time passes should take note of this case, you will be brought to justice.”

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, Weathers and his conspirators solicited kickbacks in exchange for providing COVID-19 test samples to Metpath Laboratories, a clinical laboratory located in Parsippany-Troy Hills, that, among other things, conducted testing to detect the presence of COVID-19 in samples obtained from individual patients.

Metpath paid kickbacks for the referrals of COVID-19 test samples and subsequently billed Medicare and other health care benefit programs for the tests, causing a loss of more than $3.5 million to federal programs.

The charge of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross profit or loss caused by the offense, whichever is greatest.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 10.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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