Medical Assistant Admits Health Care Fraud Conspiracy
CAMDEN, N.J. – A former medical assistant today admitted defrauding New Jersey state and local health benefits programs and other insurers of more than $1 million by submitting fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary prescriptions, Attorney for the United States Vikas Khanna announced.
Aaron Jones, 27, of Willingboro, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Jones previously worked for a medical practice in Stratford, New Jersey, owned by Dr. Michael Goldis. Jones was paid by a pharmaceutical sales representative, Richard Zappala, to identify patients at the medical practice who had insurance plans that would cover compounded prescription medications. Jones forged Goldis’ signature on numerous compounded medication prescriptions, including on prescriptions for individuals who were not Goldis’ patients. Jones also arranged for Goldis to sign prescriptions for the compounded medications, regardless of whether or not the individuals receiving the prescriptions had a medical necessity for them. Jones received approximately $10,000 in cash for his role in the scheme.
Jones was previously indicted for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud and other offenses, along with Goldis, Steven Monaco, and Dr. Daniel Oswari. Oswari pleaded guilty in December 2019 to fraud and kickback charges. Goldis pleaded guilty in June 2020 to four counts of making false statements relating to health care matters. Zappala pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in September 2017. The charges remain pending against Monaco, who is scheduled for trial before Judge Kugler in Camden federal court on April 4, 2022.
Jones faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for July 12, 2022.
Attorney for the United States Khanna credited agents of the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez in Newark; and special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, New York Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. David Walk, Jr. and Christina O. Hud of the Criminal Division.
The charges and allegations against Monaco are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.