Two Women Plead Guilty to Roles in Fraud Leading to Theft of $7 Million in Charity HIV and Cancer Medication
Medicines had been Donated to be Used for Indigent Patients
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 13, 2012|
TRENTON—Two New Jersey women admitted today that they defrauded a charity program out of more than $7 million in donated HIV and cancer medication using their access to a company hired to administer the program, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Keisha Jackson, 47, of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Jameshia Bryant, 26, of South River, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper in Trenton federal court to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Jackson and Bryant were previously charged by complaint on June 6, 2012, Lateefah McKenzie Body, 34, of Linden, New Jersey. Charges against McKenzie Body are pending.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
A pharmaceutical company donated millions of dollars worth of FDA-approved prescription medicines—including for the treatment of HIV and cancer—at no cost to qualified patients experiencing financial difficulties. Jackson, Bryant, and McKenzie Body were all, at various times, employed as customer service representatives at a corporation hired to provide administrative support in operating the donated medicines program. They were responsible for receiving applications for the program, entering the applications into the computer system, and using the computer system to cause the donated medicines to be delivered to the physicians of patients who met certain eligibility criteria, including financial status.
As part of the scheme, McKenzie Body entered approximately 600 fraudulent orders into the company’s system, causing medicines to be delivered to Jackson’s home and other addresses controlled by those involved in the scheme. After McKenzie Body was terminated from the company for unrelated reasons, Bryant began entering fraudulent orders and entered approximately 950 fraudulent orders, again causing medicines that could then be resold at a profit to be delivered to Jackson’s home and other addresses controlled by those involved in the scheme.
The conspiracy charge to which Jackson and Bryant pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for February 20, 2013, for Bryant; and February 21, 2013, for Jackson.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Andrew Leven and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob T. Elberg, deputy chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint against McKenzie Body are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.