Pharmacist Charged With Paying More Than $50,000 In Kickbacks To Doctor For Prescription Referrals
NEWARK, N.J. – A pharmacist with a compounding pharmacy in Lakewood, N.J., was arrested today and charged with paying more than $50,000 to a Toms River, N.J., physician to induce the doctor to make prescription referrals to the pharmacy, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Vladimir Kleyman, 42, of Lakewood, N.J., the president and pharmacist in charge of Prescriptions R US – a compounding pharmacy in Lakewood – was charged with violating the Anti-Kickback Statute by using a middle-man to provide repeated cash payments – totaling at least tens of thousands of dollars – to a N.J. physician over the course of several months. Kleyman appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Clark III in Newark federal court this afternoon.
According to the Complaint unsealed today:
Beginning in February 2013, Kleyman provided one of his employees with at least $50,000 in cash or checks to provide bribes to the physician to refer prescriptions for a compounded pain cream to Prescriptions R US. Pharmacy compounding describes the preparation of medication, using different types and dosages of drugs, in order to provide more personalized medications for patients. The compounded pain cream prepared by Prescriptions R US in this case contains several components, including ketamine (a Schedule III non-narcotic), lidocaine, and diclofenac.
A computer-generated document prepared by Kleyman or someone working with him, and purporting to reflect the names of 63 patients for whom prescriptions for the pain cream had been sent by the bribed physician referenced in the complaint, included at least 33 Medicare beneficiaries for whom Prescriptions R US had received reimbursement from Medicare for prescriptions referrals from the bribed physician. In 2013, Prescriptions R US obtained more than $40,000 from Medicare alone in connection with filling prescriptions for the bribed physician referenced in the complaint – separate and apart from additional money Prescriptions R US obtained from other health care insurance providers.
In a series of meetings in November and December 2013, the unidentified employee received more than $50,000 in cash or checks from Kleyman or Kleyman’s spouse – who also works at Prescriptions R US – with the understanding that the bulk of that money would be used to bribe the physician to make prescription referrals to Prescriptions R US.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas O’Donnell; and IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, with the ongoing investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Yoon and Senior Litigation Counsel Andrew Leven of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman reorganized the health care fraud practice at the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office shortly after taking office, including creating a stand-alone Health Care and Government Fraud Unit to handle both criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions of health care fraud offenses. Since 2010, the office has recovered more than $520 million in health care fraud and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the False Claims Act, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other statutes.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Lisa Mack Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark