MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – A pharmacy employee Friday admitted to conspiring to offer and pay bribes and kickbacks in exchange for having prescriptions steered to the Morris County pharmacy where she worked, according to acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig.
Magdalena “Maggie” Jimenez, 56, of Newark 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, Honig said.
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, the name of the pharmacy was not released. 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, according to documents filed in this case and statements made in court.
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, Honig said.
Jimenez is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7, Honig said.