Brothers in Crime

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We frequently hear the phrase ”partners in crime” when it comes to multiple people pulling off an illegal act, but an article posted on NJ.com reports on twin ”brothers in crime,” who stole $1.5 million from Medicaid. They pulled off the scam by illegally dispensing and billing for medication from their pharmacy.

According to court documents, the scheme was accomplished through several methods. The 70-year-old pharmacy owners and a co-conspirator, who was the ”pharmacist-in-charge,” cheated customers and insurers by under-filling prescriptions, then billing Medicaid and other insurance companies as if the prescription was fully filled. The three also substituted generic drugs for brand-name drugs and billed for the higher priced drugs. The co-conspirators also requested outstanding refills without their patients’ knowledge and billed for the refills. The article states that the fraudsters bought prescription drugs back from their customers and reused the drugs to fill other patients’ prescriptions. Then they billed for the full amount of the prescription. (These guys certainly had a variety of scams going on. Kudos to the investigators who were able to track down the multiple methods of fraud.)

Both brothers pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud and were each sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for bilking their customers and the government. One brother agreed to forfeit nearly $850,000, while the other brother will pay more than $550,000 in restitution. The 49-year-old ”pharmacist-in-charge” pleaded guilty to illegally dispensing oxycodone. He is awaiting sentencing.

These twin brothers have probably spent most of their lives sharing things. (That includes toys, probably a childhood bedroom and most recently, the ownership of their pharmacy.) One thing they probably were not counting on was sharing a prison sentence. (I’m pretty sure they will not be serving out their time in the same cell.) Having some time apart from each other will give them each a chance to review their crimes and reflect on how they are each individually responsible for their own actions.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Brothers Who Owned West Orange Pharmacy Sentenced for Fraud,” written by Jason Grant and published on NJ.com on March 13, 2014.

Twin brothers who had owned a pharmacy in West Orange were each sentenced today to 3 ½ years in prison for bilking customers, Medicaid and insurance companies with various schemes, reaping at least $1.5 million in the process, authorities said.

Robert and William Carlucci, both 70 and of Florham Park, had previously pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hammer to conspiring to commit health care fraud, authorities said. Today in federal court in Newark, the men were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Faith Hochberg.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.