Brothers who ran $100M health fraud scam sentenced to prison

Two New Jersey brothers who admitted bribing doctors in a $100 million health care scheme were sentenced to prison Wednesday. 

In many instances, their company wined and dined doctors at fancy restaurants, took some on private jet trips and even provided some with prostitutes, one brother testified.

In many instances, their company wined and dined doctors at fancy restaurants, took some on private jet trips and even provided some with prostitutes, one brother testified.

That brother, David Nicoll, 44, was considered the mastermind behind the seven-year scheme. He received a six-year sentence for his role in a fraud authorities say was one of the largest of its kind ever uncovered.

David's younger brother, Scott, received a 43-month sentence.

Both sentences were far below the 25-year combined maximum sentences the brothers faced after they pleaded guilty in 2013 to conspiracy to bribe doctors and money laundering through their New Jersey company, Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services.

Their subsequent cooperation with the government helped prosecutors earn more than 50 guilty pleas or convictions.

"There can be little doubt that your conduct was the most egregious conduct that occurred in this case," U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler told David Nicoll. "You were the center of this operation and you were at the core of this spider web that you wove. You took a company that was making nothing and you made yourself a big fortune. And let's not kid ourselves, it was for one reason: greed. You wanted the money."  

"You took a company that was making nothing and you made yourself a big fortune. And let's not kid ourselves, it was for one reason: greed. You wanted the money."

- U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler

David Nicoll was a trained nurse and former pharmaceutical sales rep when he borrowed money from his father-in-law to buy a struggling lab in northern New Jersey in 2005. Within a year, the Nicoll brothers were bribing doctors to steer blood samples to BLS for testing. The brothers' incomes drastically increased.

Their scheme, which occurred between 2006 and 2013, involved signing bogus agreements to rent office space in doctors' offices. When New Jersey law discontinued that practice, they switched to bribing doctors with bogus consultant agreements paid for by shell corporations formed specifically for that purpose.

Nicoll testified last year that he dealt with "probably hundreds" of doctors during his years at BLS. When asked how many had been bribed, he replied: "The large majority."

The U.S. attorney's office estimated at least $100 million of the revenue the company made between 2006 and 2013 derived from the bribery scheme.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.