TRENTON - Attorney General
Anne Milgram announced that the owner of
an Essex County pharmacy has pleaded guilty
to bilking Medicaid out of more than $10,000.
According to Insurance Fraud
Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Twumasi Ampofo,
39, of Irvington, the owner of Victory Pharmacy
on Springfield Avenue in Irvington, pleaded
guilty yesterday before Essex County Superior
Court Judge Denise A. Cobham to second-degree
health care claims fraud. The charge was
contained in a Dec. 20, 2007 state grand
Ampofo faces up to five
years in state prison under his plea agreement.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan.
16. Ampofo must pay full restitution and
will be barred for life from participating
in any state or federally funded health
insurance or prescription assistance program,
such as Medicaid and Medicare.
At the guilty plea hearing,
Ampofo admitted that between July and October
2007, he paid cash to Medicaid beneficiaries
in return for prescriptions, including medications
for HIV/AIDS. Ampofo admitted that he billed
the Medicaid program as if the prescriptions
had been filled when, in fact, they had
not. Medicaid paid Victory Pharmacy $10,387
on the false claims.
Detective Laura Pezzuti
and Deputy Attorney General Linda Rinaldi
were assigned to the investigation. Rinaldi
represented the Office of Insurance Fraud
Prosecutor at the plea hearing.
The Medicaid program, which
is funded by the state and federal governments,
provides health care services and prescription
drugs to persons who may not otherwise be
able to afford such services and medicines.