- Attorney General Anne Milgram and Division
of Criminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni
announced that 10 defendants, including four
pharmacists and three pharmacies, were indicted
today on charges they conspired to defraud
Medicaid of more than $2.3 million dollars.
indictment is the result of Operation PharmScam,
an investigation conducted by the Office of
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s Medicaid
Fraud Control Unit, the Jersey City Police
Department, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s
Office of Criminal Investigations and the
New Jersey Division of Taxation.
investigation uncovered a scheme in which
pharmacy owners and employees bought completed
prescription forms for HIV/AIDS drugs and
other expensive medicines from indigent patients
so Medicaid, Medicare and private insurers
could be billed for drugs that were never
are supposed to dispense medicines to preserve
health and help those who are sick, but these
defendants profited by depriving indigent
patients of the drugs they needed,”
said Attorney General Milgram. “They
also stole from the Medicaid program, which
provides medicines and health care services
to patients who otherwise could not afford
to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Riza
Dagli, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit obtained
a state grand jury indictment charging the
Pricus, Inc. d/b/a Campus Pharmacy, 20 Hoyt
Drugs, 261 Orange Street, Newark
Inc. d/b/a Harrison Pharmacy, 634 Martin
Luther King Blvd., Newark
Nadeem Akhtar, 49, of Upper Saddle River.
Pharmacist at Orange Drugs (husband of owner)
Omar Mohammad, 31, Pharmacist at Orange
Drugs (son of owner)
Osei, 32, of Sayreville. Pharmacist in charge
at Campus Pharmacy
Gabriel, 49, of Piscataway. Owner of Harrison
following three pharmacy technicians at Pharmacy
of America in East Orange were previously
charged by complaint and are also named in
Jannah Rasheedah Amatul Muid, 25, of East
Dlacy Forde, 26, of Orange
Stephens, 29, of Newark
10 of those defendants are charged with conspiracy
(2nd degree), health care claims fraud (2nd
degree) and Medicaid fraud (3rd degree). Osei
is charged with filing false state income
tax returns (3rd degree).
investigation revealed that Bryan X. Chandler,
a.k.a. Dr. X, former owner and director of
Samaritan Medical in Newark, recruited patients,
especially Medicaid beneficiaries, to come
to his clinic so multiple prescriptions could
be written in each beneficiary’s name
and sold to the pharmacies charged in the
investigation. Additional beneficiaries who
were not patients of Samaritan also participated
in the scheme. Chandler has pleaded guilty
in the scheme.
who agreed to go without their medicines were
paid cash at the pharmacies for their prescriptions,
which were used to fraudulently bill Medicaid,
Medicare and private insurers. In other instances,
the medicines were dispensed, but the patients
sold them to Chandler, who returned the medicines
to the pharmacies for a share of the Medicaid
payments. Prescriptions for HIV/AIDS drugs
and other expensive specialty drugs were billed
to Medicaid for thousands of dollars, 10 to
30 times the amount paid to the patients.
indictment alleges that the defendants conspired
in schemes by which false claims were submitted
for Pharmacy of America, Orange Drugs, Campus
Pharmacy and Harrison Pharmacy. The defendants
allegedly submitted a total of more than $2.3
million in false claims.
commend the investigators and attorneys responsible
for this complex and far-reaching investigation,”
said Director Gramiccioni. “Their diligence
is a testament to our commitment to root out
the fraud that is driving up costs for Medicaid
and health care generally.”
long as dishonest pharmacists see the high
price of many prescription medicines as an
inducement to fraudulently bill Medicaid,
we will remain vigilant to detect and prosecute
their crimes,” said Acting Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor Riza Dagli.
Attorney General Debra Conrad presented the
case to the state grand jury. The investigation
was conducted by members of Medicaid Fraud
Control Unit, North and Central Offices, led
by Detective Danielle Han, Detective Kevin
Gannon, Detective Joseph Jaruszewski, Detective
Jacqueline Latty and Sergeant Fred Weidman
as well as Auditor Cleair Budhu, under the
supervision of Lt. Joseph Waters, Deputy Chief
of Detectives Rita Binn, Acting Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor Riza Dagli, Deputy Attorney
General Erik Daab, Deputy Chief of the Medicaid
Fraud Control Unit, Deputy Attorney General
Debra Conrad and Deputy Attorney General Sherry
Wilson. They were assisted by Auditor Kevin
Curry of the Division of Taxation.
Attorney General Carol Stanton Meier is handling
related asset forfeiture actions for the Division
of Criminal Justice.
General Milgram credited all of the detectives,
officers and investigators with the Division
of Criminal Justice, Division of Taxation,
Jersey City Police Department and the U.S.
FDA Office of Criminal Investigations who
assisted in Operation PharmScam.
crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years
in state prison and a $150,000 fine, while
third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence
of five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
is merely an accusation and the defendants
are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
indictment was handed up to Superior Court
Judge Linda R. Feinberg in Mercer County,
who assigned the case to Essex County, where
the defendants will be ordered to appear in
court at a later date to answer the charges.
with information about fraud or abuse involving
the Medicaid program or Medicaid providers
is urged to call the Medicaid Fraud Control
Unit toll free at 1-877-55-FRAUD
or visit www.NJInsuranceFraud.org.
All information received will remain confidential.