Vaughn McKoy, director, New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, announced that a Passaic County pharmacist has been ordered to pay more than $70,000 in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to defrauding the Medicaid Program out of more than $35,000 by using the identifications of unknowing Medicaid recipients to submit forged prescriptions for payment.
According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Nino Paradiso, 61, of Morris Plains, Morris County, was sentenced by Passaic County Superior Court Judge Edward Gannon on April 1 to serve 45 days in the Passaic County Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program, three years probation, and to complete 100 hours of community service in addition to the fines and restitution.
Gooden-Brown noted that Paradiso pleaded guilty on Jan. 14 to a charge of Medicaid Fraud. In pleading guilty, Paradiso, a licensed pharmacist and the owner/operator of Singac Pharmacy and Surgical Supply, Route 23, Little Falls, Passaic County, reportedly admitted that he submitted 103 fictitious and/or fraudulent prescription drug claims to the Medicaid Program between February and August, 2001. Paradiso had been charged via a State Grand Jury indictment returned on June 13, 2003.
An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s Medicaid Fraud Section determined that the fraudulent claims were submitted to the Medicaid Program using the identifications of eight Medicaid recipients who were unaware of the fictitious prescriptions and fraudulent claims.
As a result of the fraudulent billing scheme, Medicaid was billed more than $35,000.
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