January 24, 2014 at 6:27 PM
Former West Orange Pharmacist Admits to Illegal Oxycontin Distribution
WEST ORANGE, NJ - U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today that former West Orange Pharmacy pharmacist Leonard “Lenny” Stefanelli, 49, of East Hanover, NJ, pleaded guilty to charges of illegally dispensing oxycodone. In addition, Stefanelli admitted to conspiring with brothers Robert and William Carlucci, both 70, of Florham Park, to submit fraudulent bills to health care providers including Medicare and Medicaid. The Carlucci brothers plead guilty to charges on August 6, 2013.
During the course of an undercover investigation targeting Stefanelli, Stefanelli sold hundreds of Oxycontin tablets to an individual from February-August, 2012. He received cash for the transactions, which included an $1,800 sale of 100-count Oxycontin 30mg tablets and a 100-count of Oxycontin 15mg tablets. Oxycodone is the active ingredient in brand name pills like Oxycontin. It is a Schedule II.B federally controlled substance that is considered highly addictive and cannot be dispensed without a doctor's written prescription. Stefanelli distributed the Oxycodone without a prescription.
All transactions took place inside West Orange Pharmacy, located at 443 Main Street.
From 1992-2012, Stefanelli and the Carlucci brothers reaped at least $921,634 in illegal profits by submitting fraudulent bills to health care providers. Sentencing is scheduled for the Carluccis on Feb. 27, 2014.
The former Pharmacist-in-Charge agreed to forfeit $1.5 million in his illegally accrued profits.
Stefanelli faces a possible 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for the narcotics distribution charge. He is scheduled for sentencing on April 30, 2014.
Fishman credited DEA special agents, the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations with the investigation leading to Stefanelli's guilty plea. He also acknowledged Elizabeth, Clinton, Toms River, West Orange, and Marlboro police departments, and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department, for their work on the case.
West Orange Pharmacy was purchased by PUJA Pharmacy, LLC and reopened as West Orange Family Pharmacy on March 4, 2013.