MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – A pharmacy employee Thursday admitted conspiring to offer and pay bribes and kickbacks in exchange for having prescriptions steered to the Morris County, pharmacy, the name of the pharmacy wasn’t released, where he worked, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Srinivasa Raju, 51, of Haskell pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to an information charging him with conspiring to violate the federal anti-kickback statute, Sellinger said.
Magdalena Jimenez, 58, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty to a parallel bribery and kickback scheme involving the same pharmacy, Sellinger said.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Raju had various responsibilities at the Morris County pharmacy, including coordinating prescription deliveries and soliciting business. From January 2019 through February 2021, Raju worked with other pharmacy personnel to pay kickbacks and bribes to medical employees in two different doctors’ offices in Jersey City.
In exchange, those employees steered numerous, high-value prescriptions to the pharmacy where Raju worked. Raju and his conspirators paid as much as $150 for each prescription and used various tactics to conceal many of those bribe payments. Overall, the pharmacy received over $2.4 million in Medicare reimbursement payments based on prescriptions derived from the kickback scheme.
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. Sellinger said.
Sentencing for Raju is scheduled for May 16, 2023.