CAMDEN – A Ventnor firefighter today admitted to defrauding New Jersey State Health Benefits program by submitting fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary prescriptions, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced Wednesday, Dec. 12.
Corey Sutor, 37, of Egg Harbor Township, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
According to a press release, Sutor was one of the owners of an unnamed company formed to market prescription compounded medications. From May 2015 through February 2016, Sutor and others associated with the company persuaded others to obtain very expensive and medically unnecessary compounded medications, including pain, scar, and antifungal creams, as well as vitamin combinations. The conspirators were reimbursed for thousands of dollars for a one-month supply by the New Jersey State Health Beneits Program, which provides medical coverage for municipal and school employees.
Sutor and his conspirators entered into an agreement in which the company would receive a percentage of the amounts paid to compounding pharmacies for prescriptions secured by Sutor and his conspirators. Sutor and his conspirators then recruited public employees, offered them hundreds of dollars per month, and persuaded them to agree to obtain prescription compounded medications without any examination by a medical professional. Sutor would obtain insurance and personal information from the public employees and give that information to conspirators. The company then would receive a percentage of the amounts paid on these fraudulent prescriptions, which Sutor and others would divide.
Sutor and his conspirators caused New Jersey to pay more than $2 million in fraudulent claims for compounded medications for public employees. Sutor received $150,398 in gross proceeds for his role in the scheme. As part of his plea agreement, Sutor must forfeit these criminal proceeds and pay restitution of at least $2,092,791.
Sutor, who has worked for the Ventnor Fire Department since 2008 and earns $99,760 per year, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for March 12, 2019.
According to Ventnor Mayor Beth Holtzman, Sutor was suspended from his job without pay and is facing termination by the City of Ventnor.