Police & Fire

Former West Orange Pharmacy Owners Plead Guilty to Health Care Fraud

4e779ec4690b6f930af7_images__5_.jpg
Credits: yellowbook.com
4e779ec4690b6f930af7_images__5_.jpg

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Robert and William Carlucci, twin brothers and former owners of West Orange Pharmacy located at 443 Main St., pled guilty to conspiring to commit health-care fraud after defrauding patients, Medicaid and insurance companies over a 15-year period and reaping $1.5 million in illegal profits.

The announcement came today from U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and the Department of Justice, United States Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey. The brothers, who both reside in Florham Park, pled guilty before US Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer. Charges were separated out for each brother.

According to court transcripts "Robert Carlucci, William Carlucci, and another conspirator (identified as “L.S.” in the charging documents"  utilized several different schemes to cheat customers and steal from insurance companies of the $1.5 million.
 
 
On Sept. 12, 2012, West Orange Pharmacy was raided, and pharmacist Leonard Stefanelli was arrested for selling oxycodone to undercover agents. 
 
One scheme was called "Trade-Quick," which underfilled prescriptions.  The letters in "Trade-Quick" each corresponded to a number, “T” for “1” through “K” for “0.”  A  two-letter code was entered into the  West Orange Pharmacy computer system to indicate what percentage of the prescription they intended to fill.

“QK” showed  that a prescription for 90 dosages would be filled with 60 dosages -  the “Q” stood for the number “6” and the “K” stood for the number “0.”  After the presecription was underfilled, the Carlucci brothers and "L.S." billed Medicaid and other insurance provided for the full prescription.
 
The conspirators would substitute generic drugs for brand names and not inform the patients. They then billed their providers for the brand name amount.  To do this, they entered the prescribing physicians' phone numbers into their computer system as a code to remind themselves they were using this particular scheme.
 
Another scheme the pharmacists used was to fill outstanding refills on a prescription without the knowledge of the patient, and then bill their Medicaid or insurance providers.  They would enter a dot (“.”) into the pharmacy computer system to indicate that they were utilizing this particular scheme.
 
If the pharmacists lost money on a prescription, they searched for additional costs in their files that could be passed on to Medicaid or their insurance provider.  They would enter the code "COV" into the pharmacy computer to indicate this scheme. 
 
Prescription drugs were purchased from non-licensed wholesalers at a substantial discount to the drugs’ wholesale price.  The pharmacists then dispensed these discounted drugs to patients and Medicaid or their insurance providers for the full cost.
 
According to the statement published by the US District Attorney's Office "The sentence for the health care fraud conspiracy charge is punishablle by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the scheme. As part of their guilty pleas, the defendants are agreeing to pay restitution of $1.5 million. Additionally, Robert Carlucci is forfeiting $849,568 and William Carlucci is forfeiting $558,717. Sentencing for both is scheduled for Nov. 12, 2013. Sentencing for both is scheduled for Nov. 12, 2013."
 
"U.S. Attorney Fishman thanked special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl Kotowski; and special agents of the Food & Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, under the direction of Mark Dragonetti, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty pleas. He also thanked the Elizabeth, Clinton, Toms River, West Orange, and Marlboro Police Departments, along with the Essex County Sheriff’s Department for their work on this case."
 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division represented the government. There was no word at this time on the government's case against "L.S."
 
West Orange Pharmacy was purchased by PUJA Pharmacy, LLC and reopened as West Orange Family Pharmacy on March 4.
 
Editor's Note:  This Article was updated at 4:27 pm.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

$100 OFF per Week for Summer Camp Now!

July 12, 2018

Guerrero Marital Arts is now offering an 8-week summer camp for summer 2018!

Pick which weeks you want!

Camp Weeks are:

July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20, August 27

Includes the following:

Fitness
Fun (through Sports, Play and Games)
Field Trips (may cost extra)
Life Lessons
Reading Time
Martial Arts
A great place to ...

Bucco Couture Summer Sale on All Custom Suits, Shirts and Casual Wear

NUTLEY, NJ — Save while looking sharp! 20% off all summer wear an extra 10% savings for Military, Veterans and all first responders at Bucco Couture, 187 Franklin Avenue in Nutley, with the launch of some new products such as our tracksuit line, crushed cotton drawstring pants and jeans. 

We also carry Bugatchi and Rober Graham casual wear as well as stretch high V-neck ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 14, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters in Newark, according to one of two ordinances approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, August 15, 10:00 AM

Cancer Center Resource Room, Belleville

Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease Support ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_04cbbf122cf5df3a3091_festival_b

Sat, August 25, 2:00 PM

Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC), West Orange

LE PIQUE NIQUE WINE & MUSIC FESTIVAL

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

West Orange PAL Spring Travel Baseball Teams Wrap Up (Championship Team Photos Included)

The West Orange PAL Spring Travel Baseball season started with a cold front. Practices began indoors in January with teams practicing two nights a week working on conditioning and baseball fundamentals. Once the snow had melted teams began battling the cold and working outdoors, with three or four practices a week in addition to their games. 

And the hard work and dedication paid off! All ...

Public Invited to Essex County Opioid Use Prevention Task Force Meeting

July 15, 2018

CALDWELL, NJ — All Essex County residents, mayors and councils, law enforcement members, school officials, clergy members, civic organizations and more are invited to join in the next Essex County Opioid Use Prevention Task Force meeting on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss how the Essex County communities can join work together to eradicate this epidemic.

The meeting will be held at the ...

Would Shedding

How much wood wouldn’t a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woodn’t?

 

Enough already.  

 

I get it.  It is an easy mistake to make, misusing would and wouldn’t.  It happens to me all the time.

 

“Honey, when I said I didn’t see any reason why I would go to the ballet, I meant to say I couldn’t see ...