Two Atlantic County men admitted to their part in a multimillion-dollar health benefits scheme perpetuated by more than two dozen professionals.
Brian Pugh, 45, of Absecon, and Thomas Schallus, 45, of Northfield, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to one count each of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
Pugh and Schallus were part of a criminal conspiracy in which state and local government employees were recruited and compensated to receive medically unnecessary compound prescription medications.
Pugh was a business man running BP Med, which was paid some of the money and also paid out to people like Schallus, who was a Ventnor police officer at the time.
Pugh cost the pharmacy benefits administrator to pay about $1.47 million, with Schallus costing about $477,958 for medically unnecessary compounded prescription medications for individuals they recruited into the scheme.
Pugh and Schallus were among seven people indicted in March 2019, along with now-admitted conspiracy leader William Hickman.
Hickman, who lives in Northfield, pleaded guilty in June 2020, admitting to doing much of the illegal activities under his wife’s name. As a result, the charges against Sara Hickman were to be dropped once certain criteria were met.
He is still awaiting sentencing.
Charges remain pending against brothers John and Thomas Sher, along with Christopher Broccoli. A trial is set for Aug. 15.
Pugh and Schallus each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
Schallus is set to be sentenced Nov. 14, with Pugh’s sentencing scheduled for Nov. 17.
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: Pharmaceutical representative 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
Robert Madonna, 36, of Florida: Former Margate mortgage consultant must forfeit $179,370. Cost: $2.1 million.
Kristie Abbott Masucci, 36, of Cedar Run: Pharmaceutical representative must forfeit amount to be determined at sentencing. Cost: $1.88 million.
James Wildman, 44, of Marmora: Ocean City schools maintenance worker, must forfeit $657,040. Cost: $4.9 million.
Corey Sutor, 37, of Ventnor: Ventnor firefighter, must forfeit $150,397.79. Cost: $2 million.
Ed Sutor Jr., 36, of Linwood: Ventnor firefighter, must forfeit Cost: 335,551.81. Cost. $2.7 million.
Mark Bruno, 45, of Northfield: Pharmaceutical representative, received $68,872. Cost: $524,935