Suspects surrender as seven indicted in prescription fraud

Seven people have been indicted in a drug-compounding scheme that bilked millions from public health care benefits.
Six Atlantic County residents were led out of the FBI’s Northfield office Friday morning after surrendering on the charges contained in a 50-count indictment.
They included two Margate firefighters and a Ventnor police officer.
The seventh person indicted is from West Deptford.
Among those taken in were William Hickman, who was named in a warrant for Dr. James Kauffman when agents came to his Egg Harbor Township office in June 2017.
Hickman, a pharmaceutical representative from Northfield, created a shell company called Boardwalk Medical LLC, according to the warrant, that also said the medications typically cost $10 to blend but were billed as much as $6,000 per dose.
Hickman’s wife, Sara, was also led out in handcuffs.
Before Friday, 23 people had pleaded guilty in the case, which included doctors, teachers and firefighters.
Also named in the most recent indictments were Ventnor interim Patrol Sgt. Thomas Schallus, 42; Brian Pugh, 41, of Absecon, and Margate Firefighters Thomas Sher, 46, of Northfield, and his 37-year-old brother, John Sher of Margate.
Another brother, Michael Sher — also a Margate firefighter — previously pleaded guilty in the case.
Also indicted was Christopher Broccoli, 47, of West Deptford.
The seven face charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud and with individual acts of health care fraud and wire fraud.
The Hickmans and Pugh are additionally charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and individual acts of money laundering
The group is expected to have a first appearance in Camden later today.
Hickman’s Boardwalk Medical was allegedly a go-between that facilitated the compounding scheme, according to the warrant.
The warrant alleges prescriptions were filled by Central Rexall Drug Inc. in Hammond, Louisiana, with Hickman’s Northfield company, Boardwalk Medical, setting up the transaction as a “recruiter.”
(Kevin C. Shelly contributed to this report.)

PREVIOUS PLEAS

Dr. John Gaffney, 55, of Linwood: Margate doctor must forfeit $25,000. Cost: $24.9 million

Michael Sher, 40, of Northfield: Margate firefighter must forfeit $1.7 million. Cost: tbd at sentencing

Mike Pepper, 45, of Northfield: Atlantic City firefighter must forfeit $113,627.54. Cost: $719,000

Richard Erick McAllister, 42, of Ocean City: Pleasantville High School English teacher must forfeit $456,806.23. Cost: $3.4 million

Shawn Sypherd, 46, of Marmora: Middle Township Middle School social studies teacher must forfeit $354,264.06. Cost: $2.4 million

Michael Pilate, 39, of Williamstown: Pleasantville schools counselor must forfeit $392,684.20. Cost: $3.5 million

Matthew Tedesco, 42, of Linwood: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $11.1 million. Cost: $28.7 million

Nicholas Tedesco, 44, of Linwood: local candy retailer must forfeit $782,766.56. Cost: $2 million

Tara LaMonaca, 43, of Linwood: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $89,855.13. Cost: $530,527

William Hunter, 43, of Sewell: Salesman must forfeit $245,020.08. Cost: $1.3 million

Michael Neopolitan, 49, of Willow Grove, Pa.: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $198,617.14. Cost: $762,519

Judd Holt, 42, of Marlton: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $95,574.49. Cost: $769,762

George Gavras, 36, of Moorestown: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $204,002.02. Cost: $679,368.53

Steven Urbanski, 37, of Marlton: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $113,600. Cost: $250,000

Thomas Hodnett, 41, of Voorhees: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $270,000. Cost: $1.5 million

Robert Bessey, 43, of Philadelphia: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $485,540.09. Cost: $2.7 million

Richard Zappala, 45, of Northfield: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $1.5 million. Cost: $4.3 million

Andrew Gerstel, 39, of Galloway Township: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $184,389.05. Cost: $483,946

Timothy Frazier, 42, of Galloway Township: Commercial construction estimator must forfeit $145,425. Cost: $801,119

Robert Madonna, 36, of Florida: Former Margate mortgage consultant must forfeit $179,370. Cost: $2.1 million.

Kristie Abbott Masucci, 36, of Cedar Run: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit amount to be determined at sentencing. Cost: $1.88 million.

James Wildman, 44, of Marmora: Ocean City schools maintenance worker, must forfeit $657,040. Cost: $4.9 million.

Corey Sutor, 37, of Ventnor: Ventnor firefighter, must forfeit $150,397.79. Cost: $2 million.

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