Lexington drug-testing lab owner sentenced in bribery scheme

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The owner of a Lexington drug-testing laboratory was sentenced to two-years in federal prison for bribing a doctor to get work for his lab, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The report says 66-year old Uday Shah must also pay Medicaid $325,739 in restitution.

Shah was involved in a scheme with one of his employees, Timothy B. Andrews and a doctor, Ghyasuddin Syed, who worked at Southeast Texas Institute-Pain Management in Baytown, Texas, according to the report.

Shah owned Pinnacle Laboratories LLC in Lexington, as well as labs in Houston, Las Vegas and Ohio, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader, citing court records.

Shah paid Syed more than $475,000 between November 2014 and August 2017 in return for Syed sending thousands of urine samples from patients to be tested at Shah’s labs.  Shah then billed Medicare and insurance companies for testing the samples, according to court records cited by the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Federal law prohibits doctors from taking kickbacks in order to send providers work covered by Medicare or Medicaid, according to the report.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports court documents show some of the kickbacks to Syed were disguised as rent payments from Shah.

Shah and Andrews pleaded guilty, according to the report.

Timothy Andrews was sentenced to 15-months in prison.  He is also liable with Shah for the restitution to Medicare, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Syed pleaded guilty earlier this month.  He’s scheduled to be sentenced in March, according to the report.

All three men are from Texas, but their cases were prosecuted in federal court in Kentucky because one of the labs used in the scheme was in Lexington, according to the report.

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