TRENTON Attorney General Anne
Milgram and Criminal Justice Director Deborah
L. Gramiccioni announced that a Livingston
pharmacist pleaded guilty today to stealing
more than $11,500 in prescription drugs by
creating phony prescriptions.
According to Insurance Fraud
Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Jeffrey I.
Skuraton, 65, of Livingston, pleaded guilty
before Superior Court Judge Salem Vincent
Ahto in Morris County to an accusation charging
him with third-degree theft by deception.
Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend
a probationary sentence conditioned on him
serving 30 days in county jail.
At the guilty plea hearing, Skuraton admitted
that between Aug. 6 and Nov.12, 2005, while
working as a registered pharmacist in eight
different Eckerd Pharmacies throughout North
Jersey, he fraudulently obtained $11,579 worth
of prescription medicines from Eckerd that
were paid for by various insurance carriers.
Skuraton admitted that he gave the false impression
that medical doctors had issued approximately
80 prescriptions for various medications to
himself and his family and friends, and that
the insurance carriers were responsible to
pay for these prescriptions. Skuraton admitted
that the 80 purported prescriptions were not,
in fact, issued by medical doctors and therefore
the insurance carriers were not responsible
to pay for the prescriptions.
In December of 2007, the Board
of Pharmacy suspended Skuraton’s pharmacist
license for a period of five years related
to this matter. Eckerd Pharmacy has reimbursed
the various insurance carriers that paid for
the phony prescriptions.
In 1996, the Board of Pharmacy
suspended Skuraton’s pharmacist license
for one year after he pleaded guilty to theft
by deception. At the time, Skuraton admitted
that he falsified more than 175 prescriptions.
Detective Thomas Ference,
Civil Investigator Martin Arasin, and Deputy
Attorney General Cheryl A. Maccaroni were
assigned to the investigation. Deputy Attorney
General Maccaroni represented the Office of
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea
Eckerd Pharmacy uncovered
the fraud and forwarded the matter to the
New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. The
Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement
Bureau referred the investigation to OIFP
and assisted the investigation. Prosecutor
Brown thanked both Eckerd Pharmacy and the
Division of Consumer Affairs for their assistance
in this matter.
Brown noted that some 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 1-877-55-FRAUD
or visiting the Web site www.njinsurancefraud.org.
State regulations permit an award to be paid
to an eligible person who provides information
that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction
for insurance fraud.
The Office of Insurance Fraud
Prosecutor was established by the Automobile
Insurance Cost Reduction Act of 1998. The
office is the centralized state agency that
investigates and prosecutes both civil and
criminal insurance fraud, as well as Medicaid