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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
May 4, 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
609- 984-1936


Essex County Optician Pleads Guilty to $19,900 Medicaid Fraud

TRENTON - Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that an Essex County optician has pleaded guilty to falsifying his optician’s license in an attempt to bilk the Medicaid Program out of more than $19,900.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Mario Oliveira, Jr., 42, East Kinney Street, Newark, Essex County, pleaded guilty before Essex County Superior Court Judge Harold W. Fullilove to a criminal Accusation filed by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. The Accusation charged Oliveira with Medicaid Fraud (3rd degree). When sentenced on June 10, Oliveira faces up to three years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

At the guilty plea hearing, Oliveira, an optician at Clear Vision Optical, Inc. located in Newark, admitted that between January 2001 and January 2003, he altered his outdated optician’s licence, which had expired in December 2000, to make it appear current and valid. Using the fraudulent license, Oliveira submitted more than 575 bills totaling more than $19,000 to the Medicaid Program for reimbursement for eyeglasses.

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.

State Investigator William Rodriguez and Deputy Attorney General Mark J. Ondris were assigned to the investigation. DAG Ondris represented the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea hearing. The Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, which helps in the administration of the Medicaid Program, assisted in the investigation.

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