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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Columbus Pharmacist Charged With Health Care Fraud

COLUMBUS, OHIO – A federal grand jury has charged Maria Mascio, 59, of Columbus, Ohio, with 46 counts related to health care fraud in an indictment returned today in Columbus, Ohio.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, John A. Barrios, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, Lamont Pugh, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, Antoinette V. Henry, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Metro Washington Field Office, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Steven W. Schierholt, Executive Director, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy announced the indictment returned today.

According to court records, Mascio was a licensed pharmacist in the State of Ohio and owner of Family Medical Pharmacy and Vision Systems, both located in Columbus, Ohio. Mascio was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of health care fraud scheme, 37 counts of health care false statements, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, four counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of tampering with a witness.

The indictment alleges that from on or about January 1, 2003 and continuing through on or about January 31, 2013, Mascio schemed to defraud Medicare, Ohio Medicaid, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and private insurers. She allegedly billed for sample drugs that could not be legally sold and also billed for medications that had not been dispensed. It is alleged that Mascio also knowingly and unlawfully used the identification of another person to bill for medication.

Conspiracy to commit health care fraud is a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Health care fraud scheme is a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Each count of health care false statements is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment. Conspiracy to defraud the United States is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Each count of aggravated identity theft includes a mandatory sentence of 2 years imprisonment and tampering with a witness is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, Ohio Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and FDA, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Affeldt, who is prosecuting the case.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Updated July 23, 2015