N.J. Officials Charge Pharmacy, Employees with Writing a Prescription for Fraud

August 7, 2005

New Jersey Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has obtained a State Grand Jury indictment charging an Essex County Pharmacy and two of its employees with Medicaid Fraud and Health Care Claims Fraud for allegedly bilking the Medicaid Program out of more than $55,000.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Ojah Pharmacy, located in East Orange, Essex County; it’s manager, Verona Boodram, 28, of Bloomfield, Essex County; and the pharmacy technician, Alpha Bangoura, 31, of Orange, Essex County, were charged with Health Care Claims Fraud (2nd degree) and two counts of Medicaid Fraud (3rd degree). If convicted of all charges, each defendant faces up to 16 years in state prison and a fine of up to $180,000.

Ojah Pharmacy also faces permanent exclusion from being a provider in any federal or state health care program. The defendants will be ordered to appear in Essex County Superior Court for a bail and arraignment hearing on a date yet to be set by the Court.

The indictment alleges that between June 1, 2002 and Oct. 28, 2004, Verona Boodram, Bangoura, and the pharmacy billed Medicaid more than $55,000 worth of prescription medications that were not dispensed.

An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor reportedly determined that Bangoura and Boodram would entice Medicaid recipients to bring their prescriptions to Ojah Pharmacy by offering $10 worth of store merchandise for each prescription and an additional $10 to $100 per prescription, depending on the value of the medication.

The investigation further revealed that neither Boodram nor Bangoura was a licensed practitioner.

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