- Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Acting
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi
announced that an owner and a pharmacy technician
were arrested this morning for their alleged
roles in a conspiracy to defraud Medicaid
through a prescription medication buyback
to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi,
Venkata Thottempudi, 44, of Edison and Denise
Roman-Cisse, 27, of Newark were arrested
at the One Stop Pharmacy, located at 198
Market Street in Newark and charged with
second-degree conspiracy, second-degree
health care claims fraud and third-degree
charges are based on an investigation that
revealed that, between November 2010 and
November 2011, Thottempudi, the majority
owner and a pharmacy technician at One Stop
Pharmacy, allegedly bought back prescription
medications after they were dispensed to
Medicaid beneficiaries. These medications
were typically prescribed for HIV/AIDS treatment.
It is alleged that Thottempudi billed Medicaid
as if the beneficiaries had, in fact, received
the medications. It is further alleged that
Medicaid was billed significantly more than
Thottempudi paid the beneficiaries for the
a pharmacy technician at One Stop Pharmacy,
was allegedly the intermediary between the
Medicaid beneficiaries and Thottempudi who
facilitated the buying back of the dispensed
Attorneys General Dolores Blackburn and
Nicole Rizzolo, Acting Chief of the Medicaid
Fraud Control Unit, and Detectives Danielle
Han and Lt. Vincent
Gaeta were assigned to the investigation.
The Office of the State Comptroller, Medicaid
Fraud Division, also assisted in the investigation.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Chillemi
thanked the Office of the State Comptroller
for referring the matter to the Office of
the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.
the charges are indictable offenses, the
allegations must be presented to a state
grand jury for potential indictment. Second-degree
crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years
in state prison and a criminal fine of $150,000.
Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of
three to five years in state prison.