State health benefit scam bust racks up 2 more guilty please

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CAMDEN – Two South Jersey pharmaceutical sales representatives face up to 10 years in prison for their role in a wide-ranging scam that defrauded state health benefits programs and other insurers of more than $50 million.

Judd Holt, 42, of the Marlton section of Evesham, and George Gavras, 36 or Moorestown pleaded guilty to one count each of health care fraud on Monday in a federal court room in Camden.

Holt and Gavras recruited public employees and others to obtain expensive compound medications for which they had no need, but were permitted to obtain under generous health benefits plans.

In return, an out-of-state pharmacy paid one of Holt and Gavras’ conspirators a percentage of each prescription covered by the state of New Jersey, which was then distributed to other members of the conspiracy.

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Once they had recruited an employee, Holt and Gavras would obtain the employee’s insurance information and fill out a compounding pharmacy prescription form for the most expensive medicine.

Holt and Gavras would then get the prescriptions signed by doctors who never saw the patients. The prescriptions were then faxed to compounding pharmacy, which filled the prescriptions and billed the state and other insurers.

Holt must forfeit $95,574.49 and pay back a minimum of $769,762.53. Gavras will surrender $204,002.02 and pay restitution of $679,368.53.

Holt and Garvas are the seventh and eighth members of the conspiracy to plead guilty. Matthew Tedesco, Robert Bessey, Michael Pepper, Thomas Hodnett, Steven Urbanski, and John Gaffney have previously been convicted.

Drugs from compounding pharmacies cost far more than regular drugs because they are mixed for individual patients. For example, a doctor could order a prescription from a compounding pharmacy if a patient is allergic to a component of an existing medication.

Among the pricey prescriptions being filled by the compounding pharmacy were various “libido creams” and other creams costing thousands for a months supply, as well as $10,000 in vitamins, officials said.

Jeff Goldman may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.