Former Margate mortgage consultant pleads guilty in prescription fraud scheme

A former Margate mortgage consultant is the latest to plead in a prescription fraud scheme that involved public workers’ helping defraud their health benefits programs out of millions.
Robert Madonna, 36, pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.
He has agreed to forfeit $179,370 in gross proceeds he made from the scheme. He also must pay restitution of nearly $2.1 million for money he cost the state programs.
Madonna, who lived in Somers Point before moving to Florida, worked at Trident Mortgage in Margate. But it was his role as an owner of a company formed to market prescription compounded medications that has him facing 10 years in federal prison.
From May 2015 through February 2016, Madonna and others associated with the company persuaded individuals in New Jersey to obtain very expensive and medically unnecessary compounded medications to take advantage of N.J. State Health Benefits Program and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program.
The company would receive a percentage of the amounts paid to compounding pharmacies for prescriptions secured by Madonna and his conspirators.
Madonna and his conspirators then used the promise of hundreds of dollars per month to recruit other public employees, which so far have included firefighters and teachers, aided by doctors in on the conspiracy, according to previous pleas in the case.
Madonna would obtain insurance and personal information from the public employees and give that information to conspirators. He is the 20th to plead in the case, which has included a doctor, firefighters and teachers.

Others who have pleaded

Dr. John Gaffney, 55, of Linwood: Margate doctor must forfeit $25,000. Cost: $24.9 million

Michael Sher, 40, of Northfield: Margate firefighter must forfeit $1.7 million. Cost: tbd at sentencing

Mike Pepper, 45, of Northfield: Atlantic City firefighter must forfeit $113,627.54. Cost: $719,000

Richard Erick McAllister, 42, of Ocean City: Pleasantville High School English teacher must forfeit $456,806.23. Cost: $3.4 million

Shawn Sypherd, 46, of Marmora: Middle Township Middle School social studies teacher must forfeit $354,264.06. Cost: $2.4 million

Michael Pilate, 39, of Williamstown: Pleasantville schools counselor must forfeit $392,684.20. Cost: $3.5 million

Matthew Tedesco, 42, of Linwood: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $11.1 million. Cost: $28.7 million

Nicholas Tedesco, 44, of Linwood: local candy retailer must forfeit $782,766.56. Cost: $2 million

Tara LaMonaca, 43, of Linwood: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $89,855.13. Cost: $530,527

William Hunter, 43, of Sewell: Salesman must forfeit $245,020.08. Cost: $1.3 million

Michael Neopolitan, 49, of Willow Grove, Pa.: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $198,617.14. Cost: $762,519

Judd Holt, 42, of Marlton: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $95,574.49. Cost: $769,762

George Gavras, 36, of Moorestown: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $204,002.02. Cost: $679,368.53

Steven Urbanski, 37, of Marlton: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $113,600. Cost: $250,000

Thomas Hodnett, 41, of Voorhees: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $270,000. Cost: $1.5 million

Robert Bessey, 43, of Philadelphia: Recruiter must forfeit $485,540.09. Cost: $2.7 million

Richard Zappala, 45, of Northfield: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $1.5 million. Cost: $4.3 million

Andrew Gerstel, 39, of Galloway Township: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit $184,389.05. Cost: $483,946

Timothy Frazier, 42, of Galloway Township: Commercial construction estimator must forfeit $145,425. Cost: $801,119

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