Bryan Cohen Nov. 26, 2013, 5:33pm

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement Monday with the owner of a Long Island company that allegedly falsely claimed it could help patients locate kidney donors.

Michael Goldstein is the founder, owner and CEO of Nephrologica, a company that allegedly charged a fee to help seriously ill people find living kidney donors. Nephrologica, which did business as the World Kidney Network, allegedly charged illegal fees in exchange for a service it did not actually provide, posted bogus ads and fake testimonials on its website and illegally offered financial rewards to potential kidney donors.

It is against state and federal law to pay a donor for a human organ.

"There are more than 8,000 people waiting for kidney donors in New York state, and those patients and their loved ones must not be preyed upon in this manner," Schneiderman said. "This scam artist has now been stopped, and my office will continue to seek to ensure that businesses that provide services to people with serious diseases conduct themselves with transparency and integrity."

Under the terms of the settlement, Nephrologica will stop doing business in the state and nationally, Goldstein is barred from conducting or operating any business in the state that provides direct services for six years and Nephrologica will provide refunds to all its clients. Goldstein will also pay $5,000 to defray attorney and court costs.

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