Former NY Hospital Execs Indicted in Bid-Rigging Scheme

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , April 28, 2010

A federal grand jury has indicted two former hospital executives for their alleged roles in a bid-rigging conspiracy at New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Department of Justice announced.

The four-count indictment, handed up Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New York City, charges Emilio "Tony" Figueroa, a former director of facilities operations at NYPH, and Santo Saglimbeni, a former vice president of facilities operations at NYPH, with mail fraud and wire fraud.

Also indicted on the same charges were Michael Yaron and two companies owned by him, Cambridge Environmental & Construction Corp., which does business as National Environmental Associates, an asbestos abatement company, and Oxford Construction & Development Corp.; and Moshe Buchnik, president of two asbestos abatement companies. A third company, Artech Corp., owned by a relative of Saglimbeni, was also named in the indictment.

The indictment alleges that from 2000 through January 2008, Saglimbeni awarded asbestos abatement contracts, air monitoring contracts, and general construction contracts to Yaron, Buchnik and their companies at the same time that Saglimbeni sought and received cash kickbacks from the two men. The kickbacks were funneled to Saglimbeni through Artech, a company Saglimbeni created in a family member's name to conceal kickbacks, the indictment alleges.

In addition, between June 2001 and June 2006, Saglimbeni and Figueroa allegedly awarded contracts to install and repair the heating ventilation and air conditioning systems at NYPH to a co-conspirator's company in return for cash kickbacks and other gifts. Saglimbeni and Figueroa are also charged with mail fraud, because they allegedly had NYPH mail a payment on the fraudulently-awarded contract to a co-conspirator's company in May 2005, the indictment alleges.

The mail and wire fraud charges with each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

The charges are part of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation of bid rigging, fraud, bribery, and tax-related offenses relating to construction, maintenance, and service contracts administered by the Engineering Department of Mount Sinai Medical Center and School of Medicine and the Facilities Operations Department and the Engineering Department of NYPH. To date, eight people and three companies have pleaded guilty to charges arising out of this ongoing investigation. Three other people were indicted on related charges on March 31.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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