NEWARK, N.J. — The former pharmacist-in-charge of a northern New Jersey pharmacy has admitted his role in a decade-long, $1.5 million health care fraud scheme involving twin brothers who owned the business.
Federal prosecutors say 49-year-old Leonard "Lenny" Stefanelli of East Hanover pleaded guilty Friday to a complaint charging him with illegally dispensing oxycodone on six separate occasions in 2012. They say he dispensed hundreds of tablets for thousands of dollars in cash.
Stefanelli also admitted to conspiring with twin brothers Robert Carlucci and William Carlucci, both 70 and from Florham Park, to submit fraudulent bills to health care benefit providers. The brothers previously owned the West Orange Pharmacy.
Stefanelli faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he's sentenced April 30. He also will forfeit $1.5 million.
The Carlucci brothers pleaded guilty last August to conspiracy to commit health fraud and face up to 10 years in prison when they're sentenced Feb. 27.
Prosecutors have said the brothers participated in a variety of schemes designed to cheat customers and bilk insurance companies. The scheme ran from 1992 through October 2012.
Among the schemes they used were under-filling prescriptions and then billing Medicaid and other insurance companies for the fully filled prescription.
Without informing the patients, the conspirators also substituted generic drugs for the brand-name drugs prescribed by the patients' physicians. Then they billed Medicaid and other insurance companies for the full amount of the brand-name drugs.
The conspirators also filled outstanding refills on a given prescription without the patients' knowledge, then billed Medicaid and the private insurers for the refills.