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Clifton Doctor Nabbed In $4.4M Insurance Kickback Scheme

Todd Koppel,
Todd Koppel, Photo Credit: COURTESY: NJ Attorney General

CLIFTON, N.J. -- A Clifton doctor pocketed $500,000 in kickbacks while submitting more than $4.4 million in bogus medical bills to insurance companies, authorities charged.

Todd Koppel, 51, a New York City resident who ran Garden State Pain Management, paid more than $190,000 in bribes to five chiropractors -- three of whom already have confessed to participating in the scheme, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said Monday.

In exchange, the chiropractors referred more than 790 patients to Koppel's pain management facility for over a decade, beginning in 2006, Grewal said.

Koppel moved the half-million dollars in insurance payments deposited into GSPM’s business accounts into his personal bank accounts -- generating cash for additional payoffs, the attorney general said.

Koppel is the latest doctor charged in connection with an ongoing investigation by the attorney general’s Commercial Bribery Task Force, which was formed in January 2016 to target commercial bribery in the healthcare industry.

The task force, which includes deputy attorneys general and detectives from the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, has uncovered a statewide criminal enterprise in which doctors receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal kickbacks in return for providing patient referrals worth millions of dollars to other doctors and medical service providers.

“Through its continued hard work, the Commercial Bribery Task Force has identified and dismantled yet another unsavory alliance of medical fraudsters who treated patients as pawns to be bought and sold for profit,” Grewal said.

Koppel "not only stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from insurance companies," the attorney general said. "He deprived patients of their right to be treated by doctors whose medical decisions were not clouded by unadulterated greed.”

A state grand jury in Trenton indicted Koppel last week on a host of charges, including conspiracy, money laundering, corporate misconduct, theft and health care claims fraud.

Deputy Attorneys General Colin Keiffer and Charles Wright of the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, and Deputy Attorney General Brian Faulk of the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau presented the case to the grand jury.

Conducting and coordinating the investigation are Commercial Bribery Task force members Lt. Anthony Butler, Lt. Lisa Shea, Detectives Wendy Berg, John Campanella, Grace Proetta, Kimberly Allen and John Neggia, Analysts Bethany Schussler, Rita Gillis and Theresa Worthington and Assistant Bureau Chief Christina Runkle.

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