Morris County Pharmacy Employee Admits To Kickback And Bribery Scheme
NEWARK, N.J. – A pharmacy employee today admitted to conspiring to offer and pay bribes and kickbacks in exchange for having prescriptions steered to the Morris County, New Jersey pharmacy where she worked, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Magdalena “Maggie” Jimenez, 56, of Newark, New Jersey pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to an information charging her with conspiring to violate the federal anti-kickback statute.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Jimenez worked as a pharmacy technician and sales representative for a pharmacy located in Morris County, New Jersey. From at least August 2019 to February 2020, Jimenez worked with other pharmacy personnel to pay kickbacks and bribes to a doctor’s employee in exchange for receiving numerous prescriptions from that doctor’s Jersey City office. Jimenez paid up to $150 for each prescription steered to the pharmacy, which resulted in monthly kickback payments of up to $2,500 cash. When Jimenez discussed the kickbacks and bribes, she instructed others to communicate in coded language. As a result of the scheme, the pharmacy received reimbursement payments from Medicare of approximately $539,000.
The conspiracy charge is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss derived from the offense, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 7, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and special agents with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Mahoney.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua L. Haber of the Health Care Fraud Unit.
Defense counsel: Peter Guadagnino, Esq., New York, NY