Gloucester County Man Admits Using Fradulent Invoices To Steal From Hospitals, Clinics And Doctors’ Offices Across U.S.
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Gloucester County, New Jersey, man today admitted mailing thousands of fraudulent invoices to hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices throughout the United States, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Robert S. Armstrong, 49, of Turnersville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of mail fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Operating under the name of Pinnacle Medical Supplies, Armstrong prepared and caused to be prepared fraudulent invoices billing hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices across the United States for medical supplies such as diabetic test strips, EpiPens® and sanitizing wipes that the medical providers never ordered or received. In addition to billing for medical supplies never ordered or received, the invoices included fraudulent shipping information and a fraudulent address.
Armstrong then contracted with a legitimate bulk mailing company to mail more than 10,000 invoices to medical providers across the United States. Each invoice included a payment envelope preaddressed to Pinnacle Medical Supply at mail boxes Armstrong had set up with commercial mail receiving agents in Florida and Texas.
In response to the phony invoices, at least 943 medical providers sent $214,495 to Pinnacle Medical Supply. Armstrong deposited many of the checks from the victim medical providers into a bank account he opened in the name of Pinnacle Medical Supply.
The count of mail fraud is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000, twice the gross profits to Armstrong or twice the gross losses to the victims of his offense. In his plea agreement, Armstrong agreed to make full restitution to the victims.
This is Armstrong’s second mail fraud scheme. On Nov. 19, 2015, Armstrong was sentenced to 57 months in prison for committing a similar mail fraud scheme in the name of his company, Scholastic Book Supply. Armstrong caused the mailing of thousands of fraudulent invoices to schools throughout the United States billing them for books that the schools did not order or receive. Armstrong, who committed the present Pinnacle Medical Supply offense while on supervised release for the Scholastic Book Supply fraud, also pleaded guilty to three violations of his supervised release, for which he faces an additional 24 months in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for May 7, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited law enforcement officers of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge John Walker in Philadelphia, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.
Defense counsel: Richard Coughlin Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden