It’s two-and-half-year in jail for an Edison, N.J., cardiologist sentenced today for referring patients for diagnostic testing in exchange for cash kickbacks as part of a cash-for-patients scheme with a diagnostic facility in Orange. U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman made the announcement this afternoon.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:

From early 2009 through December, 2011, Orange MRI paid Shashi Agarwal for each MRI and CAT scan he referred.

According to Agarwal, Orange MRI gave him $100 cash for each Medicare or Medicaid patient he referred for an MRI. Agarwal also received $50 for each CAT scan referral. Agarwal admitted that he agreed to refer as many as 20 MRIs to Orange MRI each month.

During his plea proceeding, Agarwal identified two occasions on which he was paid kickbacks. On Oct. 11, 2011, Agarwal received $2,600 in cash from a government informant at Salvadoreño restaurant in Elizabeth in exchange for MRI and CAT scan referrals. On Nov. 10, 2011, at his office in East Orange, Agarwal received another kickback for patient referrals of $2,500 in cash.