N.J. Optician Pleads Guilty in Medicaid Fraud

May 5, 2005

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that an Essex County optician has pleaded guilty to falsifying his optician’s license in an attempt to bilk the Medicaid Program out of more than $19,900.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Mario Oliveira, Jr., 42, of Newark, Essex County, pleaded guilty before Essex County Superior Court Judge Harold Fullilove to a criminal Accusation filed by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. The Accusation charged Oliveira with Medicaid Fraud (3rd degree). When sentenced on June 10, Oliveira faces up to three years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

At the guilty plea hearing, Oliveira, an optician at Clear Vision Optical Inc. located in Newark, reportedly admitted that between January 2001 and January 2003, he altered his outdated optician’s licence, which had expired in December 2000, to make it appear current and valid.

Using the fraudulent license, Oliveira submitted more than 575 bills totaling more than $19,000 to the Medicaid Program for reimbursement for eyeglasses.

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