Health benefits

Four convicted in New Jersey health benefits scandal | criminality


CAMDEN – A former guidance counselor from Pleasantville and two former local pharmaceutical sales reps were among four people convicted this week for their role in a $ 50 million prescription fraud scheme targeting the health benefits system of the ‘State.

The group was involved in a major health benefits scam from January 2015 to April 2016, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig said on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler on Wednesday convicted Michael Pilate, 43, of Williamstown, Gloucester County, a former guidance counselor for the Pleasantville School District, and Tara LaMonaca, 47, of Linwood, a former representative of pharmaceutical sales, to 18 months and eight months in prison, respectively. On Tuesday, Kugler sentenced George Gavras, 40, of Moorestown, Burlington County, and Andrew Gerstel, 43, of Galloway Township, both also former pharmaceutical sales representatives, to 13 months and 12 months and a day from prison, respectively, Honig said in a press release.

Pilate must forfeit $ 392,684 in illegal proceeds and pay $ 3.49 million in restitution; LaMonaca must forfeit $ 89,855 and pay a restitution of $ 523,831; Gavras must forfeit $ 204,002 and pay a restitution of $ 677,815; and Gerstel must forfeit $ 184,389 and pay compensation of $ 483,946.

Pilate, LaMonaca and Gerstel were also each sentenced to three years on probation, Honig said.