July 28, 2021

NEWARK, N.J. – A Pennsylvania doctor and his wife were charged today for their roles in schemes to solicit and receive kickbacks and bribes in exchange for ordering genetic tests, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.

Yitzchok “Barry” Kurtzer, 61, and Robin Kurtzer, 60, both of Monsey, New York, are charged by indictment with various counts for participating in a scheme to solicit and receive kickbacks and bribes in exchange for ordering genetic tests. Yitzchok Kurtzer is also charged with health care fraud related to the kickback scheme. Two of Yitzchok Kurtzer’s employees, Amber Harris and Shanelyn Kennedy, have each previously pleaded guilty for their roles in the kickback scheme, and Lee Besen and Kimberly Schmidt have also each previously pleaded guilty for a related cash-for-genetic tests scheme. Sentencings for each of those defendants is pending.

According to documents filed in this case:

Yitzchok Kurtzer was a primary care physician with separate offices in the Scranton, Pennsylvania, area. Robin Kurtzer helped manage those offices. Beginning in 2018, Yitzchok Kurtzer and Robin Kurtzer solicited and received monthly cash kickbacks and bribes in exchange for collecting samples from Medicare patients and sending them for genetic tests to clinical laboratories in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The cash kickbacks ranged up to $5,000, and the Kurtzers typically accepted the cash in one of Yitzchok Kurtzer’s offices, at times behind locked doors. At one point, the Kurtzers complained that they were not getting paid enough and negotiated for higher kickbacks and bribes.

The Kurtzers were recorded receiving and discussing many of their kickback and bribe payments. After Yitzchok Kurtzer accepted a $5,000 cash kickback, he counted the money and said, “Perfect. Didn’t short me.”

Read full press release here.

Source: United States Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey