- Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced
that a former Newark pharmacist has been sentenced
for his role in a scheme in which pharmacy
owners and employees purchased prescriptions
including HIV/AIDS drugs from indigent patients
so Medicaid could be billed for medications
that were never actually dispensed.
Osei, 34, of Sayreville, was sentenced Friday
(May 4) to two years of probation by Superior
Court Judge Martin Cronin in Essex County.
Osei was also ordered to pay $100,000 in
restitution and fines. The sentence was
based on Osei’s March 9 guilty plea
to third-degree Medicaid fraud. The charge
was contained in an Oct. 26, 2009 state
grand jury indictment.
pleading guilty, Osei, who was a licensed
pharmacist at Campus Pharmacy in Newark,
admitted that between May 11, 2006 and Oct.
15, 2008 he knowingly submitted fraudulent
claims to the Medicaid program for medications
that were not dispensed.
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi
noted that 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. During the
course of the investigation, 14 individuals,
including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians
and the owner of a medical clinic, were
charged. 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. Osei is the last of the defendants
to plead guilty in this case.
Jersey law provides that there is a presumption
against any sentence of incarceration for
a person convicted of a third-degree crime
who has not previously been convicted of
an indictable offense.
Attorneys General David Noble and Dolores
Blackburn and Detective Kevin Gannon
were assigned to the investigation. Noble
and Blackburn represented the Office of
the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the sentencing.