CEO of Dozens of Companies and Entities in Florida and New Jersey Admits Role in Massive Scheme to Traffic in Fraudulent and Counterfeit Cisco Networking Equipment
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Gloucester County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 65 months in prison for mailing thousands of fraudulent invoices to hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices throughout the United States, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Robert S. Armstrong, 49, of Turnersville, New Jersey, previously 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. Judge Hillman imposed the sentence today.
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. In that case, 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. He was sentenced today to 41 months on the Pinnacle Medical Supply case, which was committed while he was on supervised release for the Scholastic Book Supply case. He pleaded guilty to three violations of his supervised release from prison in the Scholastic Book Supply case, and was sentenced to an additional 24 months in prison, for a total prison sentence imposed today of 65 months.
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.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Hillman sentenced Armstrong to an additional three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay full restitution.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited law enforcement officers of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Damon Wood in Philadelphia, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked the Washington Township Police Department in Gloucester County, the Woolwich Township Police Department and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.