Home / United States / Police officer, firefighters and business owners accused of $ 50 million fraud related to prescribed drugs and involving public sector employees

Police officer, firefighters and business owners accused of $ 50 million fraud related to prescribed drugs and involving public sector employees

The federal authorities indicted seven New Jersey residents, including a police officer and several firefighters, and accused them of playing a key role in a massive $ 50 million order fraud ploy inviting the government and employees to take action. school to look for unnecessary specialty drugs, including pain, scars, fungus and libido.

More than a dozen people have already been accused of taking additional steps to obtain compound drugs, which cost patients much more. The FBI's latest Friday roundup targeted suspected leaders and those who helped recruit government employees and schools into the scam, authorities said.

The indictment of 50 heads undiscovered shortly after the names of the arrests:

  • William Hickman, 42, Northfield
  • Sara Hickman, 42, Northfield
  • Thomas Schallus, 42, Northfield
  • Thomas Sher, 46, all of Northfield
  • Brian Pugh, 41, Absecon
  • John Sher, 37, from Margate City
  • Christopher Broccoli, 47, of West Deptford

They all face charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, as well as individual acts of health care fraud and wire fraud, according to the Office of the Prosecutor. United States Attorney.

William Hickman and Sara Hickman led Boardwalk Medical in Atlantic County, where they sent prescriptions to a drug preparation pharmacy in Louisiana, officials said.

The Hickmans then asked Pugh and other conspirators to recruit people for their compound drugs, and they found additional recruiters, including Thomas Schallus, John Sher, Thomas Sher, and Christopher Broccoli. said the US prosecutor's office in a statement.

Schallus is a Ventnor police officer, John and Thomas Sher are firefighters from Margate and Broccoli is a firefighter from Camden, according to public information. The seven members are scheduled to appear in the US court in Camden on Friday afternoon.

The scam, which took place from July 2014 to April 2016, resulted in millions of dollars in bribes, authorities said.

"Once the prescriptions were met, the Compounding Pharmacy paid Boardwalk Medical a percentage of each prescription filled out and paid by the drug benefits administrator," said the US Attorney's Office. "The Pharmaceutical Benefits Administrator paid Compounding Pharmacy more than $ 50 million for compound drugs, and Compounding Pharmacy paid William Hickman and Sara Hickman more than $ 26 million for the prescriptions obtained from the conspiracy. The Hickmans paid some of this money to Pugh, Schallus, John Sher, Thomas Sher, Christopher Broccoli and other conspirators. "

More than a dozen people have already been charged and some have already pleaded guilty.

The Hickmans and Pugh are also facing charges of conspiracy to launder money and individual money laundering, authorities said.

Pharmacists prepare compound drugs to meet the specific needs of each patient. Although they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, medications must always be prescribed by a doctor. They are often used when a patient can not take FDA approved medication. This can happen when a person is allergic to a specific ingredient.

Drugs made in Louisiana were eligible for thousands of dollars in refunds for a month 's supply, authorities said. Those involved in the alleged scheme learned that some New Jersey people, including local government employees, educators, firefighters, police officers and police officers from the state of New Jersey, had taken out insurance. covering these specialty drugs, as well as other insurance plans.

Dr. John Gaffney, who did not see the patients, signed the ordinances, the authorities said. They were faxed to the pharmacy, which filled the prescriptions and charged the administrator for pharmaceutical benefits, the authorities said.

Gaffney was paid for signing the fraudulent orders and had already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Hickmans' lawyers said they would fight the charges.

"Mr. Hickman is innocent and we are looking forward to challenging these charges in court," said Samuel Moulthrop and Ryan Magee in an e-mailed statement, "We are confident that Mr. Hickman will be exonerated after the trial."

"Ms. Hickman denies the charges against her," said attorneys Lee Vartan and Jenny Chung in a separate statement emailed. "She has not played any substantive role in anything alleged by the government. and will be fully justified in the courts. "

Charges of fraud in health care and telegraph conspiracy result in a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $ 250,000.

This story has been updated to include comments from Hickmans' lawyers.

Amanda Hoover can be reached at ahoover@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandahoovernj. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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