CAMDEN — A Washington Township man has been convicted of health insurance fraud that caused losses of more than $4.6 million.
Steven Monaco, 40, has been charged with running two related scams that defrauded public health insurance plans, according to the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In a scheme, the Sewell man organized bribes with a doctor, Daniel Oswari, which enabled Monaco to receive $36,000 in commissions as a sales representative for a medical diagnostic laboratory between the end of 2013 and 2016.
In addition, Monaco and a pharmaceutical sales representative, Richard Zappala, deceived insurance plans, including New Jersey state and local government plans, into paying for expensive compound prescription drugs between 2014 and 2016, the federal prosecutor’s office said.
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Monaco and Zappala took a share of insurer payments to dispensing pharmacies for unnecessary prescriptions, the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
They paid Oswari and other medical professionals to sign prescriptions, and also paid participants to identify and enroll patients with vulnerable insurance plans, he said.
“As a result of this scheme, Monaco received approximately $350,000 and caused a loss of more than $4.6 million to insurance plans,” the statement said.
Monaco were initially charged in 2019 with two doctors – Oswari, from Bordentown, and Michael Goldis from Mount Laurel – and medical assistant Aaron Jones from Willingboro.
Oswari pleaded guilty in December 2019 to charges of fraud and bribery. Goldis admitted his guilt in June 2020 to making false statements regarding health matters. And Jones pleaded guilty to health care fraud conspiracy in March 2022.
Zappala pleaded guilty in September 2017 to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
A fifth participant – Goldis medical assistant Jason Chacker of Feasterville, Pennsylvania – pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in October 2019.
Oswari, Goldis, Chacker and Zappala await sentencing.
A jury at Camden Federal Court convicted Monaco on April 19 of eight counts of healthcare fraud and wire fraud.
He was also convicted of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Act and the Travel Act, the federal prosecutor’s office said. .
U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler scheduled sentencing for August 24.
Jim Walsh covers public safety, economic development and other topics for the Courier-Post, the Burlington County Times and the Daily Journal.
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