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AG: Kickback Scheme Involving State Employees Cost Taxpayers $11M

September 13, 2018 By Staff
AG: Kickback Scheme Involving State Employees Cost Taxpayers $11M

The state's attorney general announced a lawsuit on Wednesday, and the governor said he stands ready to support the attorney general's investigation.

According to Attorney General George Jepsen (D-Conn.), current and former state employees were involved in an illegal kickback scheme with a Florida pharmacy that cost state taxpayers $11 million.

Jepsen’s office wrote, in a press release:

The state alleges that Assured Rx, a Florida compounding pharmacy that holds a non-resident pharmacy license in Connecticut, conspired with Nicholas Maulucci, of Simsbury, Conn., a retired employee of the state Department of Correction, and his former spouse, Lisette Maulucci – also known as Lisette Martinez – currently of Springfield, Mass., in a scheme to file false claims with the Connecticut Pharmacy Benefit Plan, which provides prescription drug benefits to enrolled state employees and eligible family members.

…The state contends that the Pharmacy Benefit Plan would not have approved or paid for the prescriptions had it known that these plan beneficiaries were being paid kickbacks by Assured Rx in exchange for arranging for the prescriptions for the compound drugs. The total cost to the Pharmacy Benefit Plan for prescriptions related to this alleged scheme was approximately $10,911,051.

Jepsen called the fraud “simply egregious,” and said his office “will continue to aggressively investigate and hold accountable those who seek defraud Connecticut’s taxpayers.”

Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) released a statement about the kickback scheme:

“These allegations are deeply troubling and completely unacceptable. If proven true, they run afoul of the very core of what it means to be a public servant. Working for the people of Connecticut necessarily means that one’s conduct comports with the highest standard of integrity, honesty, and professionalism. While the investigation remains ongoing into these specific allegations, it is understandably a grave disappointment and distressing when a current or former state employee fails to meet these expectations. We also firmly believe that anyone who is guilty of defrauding the taxpayers must be held fully accountable. To that end, my administration stands ready to fully assist the Attorney General in their investigation and will continue to work to protect against such abuse.”

And Sue Hatfield, the Republican running for attorney general this fall, asked Jepsen to “launch a full investigation.”

“It is deeply concerning that a pyramid scheme was used by Connecticut State Employees and a Florida based company to steal nearly $11 million from Connecticut taxpayers,” said Hatfield. “There are many unanswered questions regarding this pyramid scheme and I believe Attorney General George Jepsen should launch a full investigation.”

What remains to be seen is how many state employees were involved in the kickback scheme. A full investigation may offer taxpayers an idea.