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Mayor of West New York Indicted for Allegedly Receiving $250K in Bribes

By kcora on
West New York New Jersey

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) announced today that West New York Mayor Dr. Felix Roque was indicted for referring patients to the medical imaging company Diagnostic Imaging Affiliates in exchange for cash bribes and other kickbacks. 

The 59-year-old Roque, who operates the Pain Relief Center medical practice in West New York, was indicted by a state grand jury on three charges: second-degree healthcare claims fraud, second-degree commercial bribery and third-degree running. 

The indictment alleges that from 2007 to 2012, Roque participated in a scheme by which he agreed to refer patients needing MRI and CT scans to medical diagnostic imaging centers controlled by Rehan Zuberi in exchange for cash and election campaign contributions. Zuberi allegedly delivered cash kickbacks to Roque on a monthly basis and made several payments to Roque at the mayor’s office in West New York Town Hall. Zuberi and his associates allegedly paid Roque approximately $250,000.

Zuberi, 46, of Boonton, pleaded guilty last month to charges that he led a criminal enterprise that paid several million dollars of bribes and kickbacks to dozens of doctors from 2008 to 2014. The plea agreement calls for Zuberi to receive a 10-year state prison sentence with a four-year non-parole eligibility stipulation.  

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000. 

Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi noted that important cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the Web site atwww.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.

Photo: Town of West New York Website