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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
January 20, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
- Greta Gooden Brown, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor


Rachel Sacharow


Passaic County Pharmacist Pleads Guilty to $35,000 Medicaid Scam

TRENTON - Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that a Passaic County pharmacist has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Medicaid Program out of more than $35,000 by using the identifications of unknowing Medicaid recipients to submit forged prescriptions for payment. The Medicaid Program is funded by the state and federal governments and provides health care services and prescription drugs to persons who may not otherwise be able to afford such services and medicines.

According to Director McKoy and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Nino Paradiso, 61, Poplar Drive, Morris Plains, Morris County, pleaded guilty on Jan. 14 before Passaic County Superior Court Judge Edward Gannon to Medicaid Fraud (3rd degree). When sentenced on March 18, Paradiso faces up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

In pleading guilty, Paradiso, a licensed pharmacist and the owner/operator of Singac Pharmacy and Surgical Supply, Route 23, Little Falls, Passaic County, admitted that he submitted 103 fictitious and/or fraudulent prescription drug claims to the Medicaid Program between February and August, 2001. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that the fraudulent claims were submitted to the Medicaid Program using the identifications of eight Medicaid recipients who were unaware of the fictitious prescriptions and fraudulent claims. As a result of the fraudulent billing scheme, Medicaid was billed more than $35,000. Paradiso was charged via a June 13, 2003 State Grand Jury indictment filed by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

State Investigator Carlos Ortiz and Deputy Attorney General Riza Dagli coordinated the investigation. DAG Dagli represented the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea hearing.

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