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Atlantic City boxer sentenced in killing

Waldy Rodriguez lost her son to gun violence in 2014. On Friday, she reached out to the mother of her son’s killer. Omar Curry, 27, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday in the Jan. 17, 2014, killing of Nelson Viera, 32. In his plea, Curry said he was trying to scare Viera, who owed him money for drugs. “He lunged toward me as I was firing the gun,” defense attorney Jim Grimley read
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Cousins sentenced in 2014 Buena killing

Vincent Williams was both father and mother to his children, his mother said Friday. But that all ended July 3,2014, when he was shot dead in Buena Vista Township. Cousins Hykeem Martin and Dominique Washington were sentenced for planning the execution-style killing. A jury convicted them of conspiracy but acquitted them of murder. Washington was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Martin got a 15-year term. Both must serve at least 85 percent of their
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Northfield pharmaceutical rep becomes ninth plea in health care fraud case

A pharmaceutical sales representative from Northfield admitted in Camden federal court Thursday that he made nearly $1.5 million in an ongoing health care fraud case. Richard Zappala, 45, faces up to 10 years in federal prison for his role in the case that has seen several Atlantic County towns subpoenaed. Zappala is one of several pharmaceutical representatives to admit to recruiting “patients” for the scheme that had doctors signing prescriptions for compound medications that were
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Kauffman pleads not guilty on gun, obstruction charges

James Kauffman pleaded not guilty Thursday to gun and obstruction charges. The former endocrinologist appeared briefly in court, the one-brown hair that rings his balding head now pure white. The plea offer in the case is five years with 3½ years of parole ineligibility, Chief Assistant Prosecutor told Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury. Defense attorney Lou Barbone — whose partner, Ed Jacobs, has been representing Kauffman — indicated they will file motions in the case,
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Two pharmaceutical reps plead guilty in ongoing health care fraud probe

Two pharmaceutical representatives are the latest to plead guilty in an ongoing health care fraud case that targeted public workers in several Atlantic County towns. Judd Holt, 42, of Marlton, and George Gavras, 36, of Moorestown, admitted in Camden District Court that they recruited individuals to obtain expensive and medically unnecessary compounded medications from an out-of-state pharmacy. They learned that state employees like teachers, firefighters, police officers and state troopers had insurance coverage that covered
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Convicted gang member given suspended sentence on parole violations

A convicted member of a violent Atlantic City drug gang was sentenced to a suspended term Friday, after violating probation on drug charges three times. Laquay Spence, 27, was given a two-year suspended sentence for three violations on a drug sentence. Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Rodney Cunningham noted that there were no mitigating factors that would benefit Spence but that the aggravating factors “are preponderant.” However, he noted that the plea was made in
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Margate doctor pleads guilty in multimillion-dollar health care fraud case

A Margate doctor pleaded guilty Friday in Camden federal court in an ongoing investigation into millions in health care fraud involving vitamin compounds, officials announced. John Gaffney, 55, of Linwood, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. “Dr. Gaffney sold phony prescriptions for unnecessary medications to patients he never examined as part of a sophisticated
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Jury awards ex-Ocean City cop $750,000 for nearly deadly beer

A nearly deadly beer draft will cost a restaurant and beer supplier three-quarters of a million dollars. Former Ocean City Police Lt. Richard Washart sued after suffering physical and emotional injuries from a beer that contained residual clean solution. On Friday, an Atlantic County jury awarded him $750,000 in damages. The retired police officer was out celebrating at McCormick & Schmick’s in Harrah’s Atlantic City, on Nov. 6, 2012, when he ordered a Blue Moon beer. The
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Former Atlantic City firefighter admits to role in prescription fraud

A 10-year veteran of the Atlantic City Fire Department became the first public employee to plead guilty in a far-reaching prescription-fraud scheme. Mike Pepper, who resigned less than two weeks ago, admitted to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in Camden Federal Court on Friday. He was the fifth person to plead guilty in the multimillion case that allegedly used doctors to sign prescriptions for compound creams that would then be written under the names
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Linwood pharmaceutical rep, Philly man first to plead in multimillion dollar prescription-fraud case

Two men have pleaded guilty in a multimillion health care fraud scheme using doctors to prescribe expensive compounds and then recruiting public employees to join in the illegal venture. Matthew Tedesco, 42, a pharmaceutical representative from Linwood, made more than $11 million leading the conspiracy. He pleaded guilty in Camden federal court, becoming the first conviction in a long, wide-spread investigation that included federal subpoenas for Margate, Ventnor and Atlantic City. Robert Bessey, 43, of
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