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NJ’s “Operation PharmScam” Comes To A Close With Final Guilty Plea

New Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa says former Newark pharmacist Calvin Osei has been sentenced for his role in a scheme in which pharmacy owners and employees bought prescriptions including HIV/AIDS drugs from indigent patients so Medicaid could be billed for medications that were never actually dispensed.

Bottle of Pills
Jeffrey Coolidge, Getty Images

Osei has been sentenced to two years of probation and 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. 

Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi notes that the 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 people, including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and the owner of a medical clinic, were charged. 

Under the 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.

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