Former Managing Pharmacist Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud

The former managing pharmacist at a Middlesex County pharmacy pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud health insurers, including the federal Medicaid program, by submitting phony claims for reimbursement for prescription drugs, Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr., announced.

Ruben Aguilar, 46, of Montgomery Township, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson, to a one-count Information charging him with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Judge Wolfson released the defendant on a $50, 000 bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for Oct. 2.

At his plea hearing, Aguilar stated that he served as the managing pharmacist at Towne Pharmacy, a privately-owned pharmacy in Dunellen. Aguilar admitted that from 2002 through early 2007, he and others at Towne Pharmacy conspired to submit claims for reimbursement to various health insurers for medications that the pharmacy never dispensed. Aguilar admitted that he and others filled prescriptions with generic versions of certain medications but then submitted claims to health insurers seeking reimbursement for the more expensive, brand-name versions of those medications.

As part of his guilty plea, Aguilar acknowledged that the intended financial loss from the fraudulent scheme was between $400,000 and $1 million.

"It is sad and alarming that a person with such education, experience, and trust would not only steal from taxpayers but deliberately misrepresent medications to patients, possibly causing them harm," said Weysan Dun, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Newark. "Thankfully, the investigators from the FBI, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the state have put an end to this crime and have hopefully made the public more aware and cautious."

The charge of conspiracy to commit health care fraud carries a maximum statutory penalty of 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the aggregate loss to the victims or gain to the defendant.

In determining the actual sentence, Wolfson will consult the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges that take into account the severity and characteristics of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, if any, and other factors. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

Parole has been abolished in the federal system. Defendants who are given custodial terms must serve nearly all that time.

Download Center

  • The Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and in and outs. This guide is here to help!

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Thinking of getting an online safety training solution at work but not sure how to evaluate different solutions and find the one that's best for your company? Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • SDS Software Buyer's Guide

    Whether this is your first time shopping for online SDS software or you’re upgrading from a legacy solution, this guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that works best for you and your company.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January February 2022

    January February 2022


      Industrial Facility Safety from the Loading Dock to the Plant Interior
      Tiny Particles: Big Booms
    • OIL & GAS
      Creating a Culture of Safety
      Innovative, Comfortable Hand Protection Option for Workers
    View This Issue