Joshua Darstek admitted guilty to superseding information accusing him of a scheme to commit health care fraud.
Newark, New Jersey – United States Attorney Craig Carpenito reported that on 18th November 2020, an ex-marketing and pharmaceutical firm salesperson admitted guilty of his role and participation in a scheme to swindle the New Jersey State Healthcare benefits program.
Joshua Darstek, from Freehold, New Jersey, age 38, admitted guilt to superseding information accusing him of a scheme to commit health care fraud. Joshua Darstek appeared before United States District Judge John Michael Vazquez by videoconference.
As per the court affidavits and attestations made in the court;
Compounding is a practice where a pharmacist or medical physician mixes, combines, or alters components of a drug to come up with medication tailored to the requirements of an individual patient. The FDA (Federal Drugs Administration) doesn’t authorize compounded medication and thus does not certify the potency, effectiveness, safety, or manufacturing standards of compounded drugs. Generally, a medical doctor may prescribe compounded medication when a Federal Drugs Administration authorized medication does not meet the health requirements of a certain patient.
From May 2014 to January 2016, Joshua Darstek worked as a salesperson on behalf of two compounded pharmacies and a marketing firm, mentioned in the superseding charge as the Compounding Companies. Joshua Darstek promoted and sold compounded medications to doctors, including wound, scar, and pain creams, and certain vitamins and supplements. The Compounding Companies reimbursed Joshua Darstek a percentage of the compensation payments they obtained from health care benefit programs for every drug prescription referral that he made to the Compounding pharmacies. Joshua Darstek engaged in a scheme that enrolled patients, the majority of whom had prescription drug insurance coverage under the New Jersey School Employee’s Health Benefits Program, to present medically unrequired prescriptions for compounded medications to the pharmacies. Joshua Darstek made doctors prescribe prescriptions for persons with whom they did not meet for purposes of establishing that a compounded drug prescription was medically required.
The scheme to execute a health care fraud charge bears a maximum imprisonment sentence of ten years and a 250,000 U.S. dollars fine, double the loss or gain from the crime. According to his plea agreement, Joshua Darstek must forfeit 148,500 U.S. dollars in criminal returns and reimburse at least 594,639 U.S. dollars in restitution. Joshua Darstek’s sentencing was scheduled for 23rd March 2021.
United States Attorney Craig Carpenito applauded and acknowledged the special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the instruction of the of Special Agent George M. Crouch Jr. in Charge in Newark, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the instructions of Acting Special Agent Patrick J. Hegarty in Charge for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, for their relentless commitment in the investigations that led to 18th November 2020 guilty plea.
United States Assistant Attorney Bernard J. Cooney, Acting Chief of the Opioid Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Unit, represented the United States in the case.
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