Former N.J. Pharmacist Swallows Bitter Pill with $135,000 Penalty

April 5, 2004

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that a Pennsylvania resident and former Camden County pharmacist has been ordered to pay thousands of dollars in penalties and restitution after pleading guilty to submitting fake bills seeking insurance reimbursements and payment for performing medical procedures he was not qualified or licensed to perform.

According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, John D. Wylie, of Malvern, Pa., was ordered by Camden County Superior Court Judge Linda Baxter to pay a $135,000 civil penalty, $18,500 in restitution to two insurance companies, and to serve two years probation. Additionally, the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy has initiated proceedings to revoke Wylie’s New Jersey pharmacist license.

Gooden Brown noted that Wylie pleaded guilty to a charge of theft by deception on Jan. 20. In pleading guilty, Wylie reportedly admitted that between September, 1998 and December, 2001, to submitting 136 false claims to Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey and to the Aetna Life Insurance Company.

Wylie, a pharmacist licensed in New Jersey, practiced holistic medicine at The Center for Health Education Research, Inc. (CHER) in Cherry Hill. Wylie admitted that he fraudulently represented that he was appropriately licensed to perform various reimbursable, medical treatments, including electric stimulation, neuromuscular reeducation, manual manipulation and body fluid analysis of blood, saliva and urine.

The investigation revealed that Wylie fraudulently billed Aetna a total of $16,426 and Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield $1,051. In 1997 Wylie was sanctioned by the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy for similar conduct.

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