New Jersey physician, pharmacy workers charged in $10M kickback scheme

A New Jersey physician and three pharmacy workers were charged in connection to a $10 million kickback scheme, according to the North Jersey Record

Prosecutors claim Mark Filippone, MD, prescribed expensive and unnecessary pain creams to former U.S. Postal Service employees who were injured on the job to receive fraudulent reimbursement from workers' compensation.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito alleges that Dr. Filippone steered the prescriptions to a pharmacy in New Jersey run by Joseph Miller and Marlene Vengelas, who together with pharmacy worker Zarachy Ohebshalom, directed its pharmacists to make the cream using ingredients that would make the prescription most profitable. 

Prosecutors interviewed patients who received the creams, most of whom said they didn't know it was prescribed and they received too much of it. 

The physician and three workers were each charged with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and one count of violating the anti-kickback law. 

They all face up to 15 years in prison.

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