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For Immediate Release:
For Further Information:
November 15, 2011

Office of The Attorney General
- Paula T. Dow, Attorney General 
Division of Criminal Justice
- Stephen J. Taylor, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
- Ronald Chillemi, Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
Media Inquiries-
Rachel Goemaat
609-292-4791

Citizen Inquiries-

609-292-4925
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Two Pharmacists Plead Guilty for Their Roles in a Scheme to Defraud Medicaid Out of Millions of Dollars
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TRENTON - Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi announced that two pharmacists have pleaded guilty for their roles in a scheme in which pharmacy owners and employees allegedly bought completed prescription forms for HIV/AIDS drugs from indigent patients so Medicaid could be billed for drugs that were never actually dispensed.

According to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi, Nadeem Akhtar, 51, of Upper Saddle River, and Omar Mohammad, 34, of Upper Saddle River, pleaded guilty yesterday (Nov. 14) to third-degree Medicaid fraud before Superior Court Judge Martin Cronin in Essex County. The charges were contained in an October 26, 2009 state grand jury indictment.

Judge Cronin scheduled the sentencing for January 20, 2012. Under the plea agreement, the State will recommend Akhtar be sentenced to 90 days county jail as a condition of probation and Mohammad be sentenced to a non-custodial probationary term.

In pleading guilty, Akhtar, who was a licensed pharmacist at Orange Drugs in Newark, admitted that between May 11, 2006 and October 15, 2008 he offered bribes to Medicaid beneficiaries to induce them to bring their prescriptions to Orange Drugs. Mohammad, also a licensed pharmacist at Orange Drugs, pleaded guilty to knowingly submitting claims to the Medicaid program for drugs that were not dispensed.

This case was part of Operation PharmScam, which revealed that six pharmacies and two medical clinics in Jersey City and Newark participated in a multi-million dollar conspiracy to defraud Medicaid. The investigation involved more than 25 individuals, including pharmacists, doctors, physician assistants, pharmacy technicians and Medicaid beneficiaries. Under this scheme, the pharmacies were billing Medicaid for high priced AIDS/HIV and specialty drugs that were never ordered from the wholesalers or dispensed to the beneficiaries.

Detective Kevin Gannon, former Deputy Attorney General Sherry Wilson, Deputy Attorneys General Debra Conrad, Cynthia Vazquez, David Noble and Dolores Blackburn were assigned to the investigation. Noble and Blackburn represented the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea hearing.

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