A doctor, a medical billing company owner and an MTA bus driver from Middlesex County were among the New Jerseyans charged this week as part of what federal officials are calling “the largest health care fraud and opioid enforcement action ever taken by the Justice Department,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.
They include Brian Catanzarite, 42, of Cedar Grove; Enver Kalaba, 36, of Old Bridge, Tiffany Marsh, 40; of West Orange; Keasam Johnson, 34, of East Orange; Anthony Pepe III, 40, of Cherry Hill; and Daniel Watson, 39, of Bellmawr, who worked with a Philadelphia man, Prussia Hing, 35, to sell oxycodone pills in front of the hospital where one of them worked as an anesthesiology technologist.
Some of them have already taken plea deals.
The wide-ranging investigation led to the arrests of 601 people across the country, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, including 165 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals for alleged health care fraud schemes. The office said 76 doctors were charged with illegally distributing opioids and other narcotics.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the federal court complaints, FBI agents used a confidential informant and an undercover officer to get inside the alleged drug ring from January to May, making eight controlled purchases worth over $25,000.
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP: On Aug. 3, the Franklin Township Public Library, in collaboration with the Family and Community Health Sciences, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County, will host a Farmers Market Nutrition Class.
During the free program, which will begin at 2 p.m., attendees will be shown ways to select and use fresh fruits and vegetables to create flavorful, healthy meals and snacks. The speaker will highlight health benefits of produce and provide recipes and preparation tips. In addition, each family attending the hourlong session will receive a $15 Farm Market Voucher.
The library is located at 485 DeMott Lane, Somerset. For more information, call 732- 873-8700 ext. 111.