NEWARK, N.J. – A federal grand jury has indicted a New Jersey public school teacher for conspiring to defraud the N.J. School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) with phony claims for medically unnecessary prescriptions, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
According to officials, Jason Nardachone, 45, of Nutley, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. He made his initial appearance Thursday, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hammer in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Nardachone participated in a scheme to defraud the SEHBP by knowingly causing the billing of medically unnecessary compounded medications, such as metabolic vitamins, pain creams, and scar creams, for himself and three other teachers.
Officials say from September 2015 through February 2016, Nardachone and others received medically unnecessary compounded medications that cost the SEHBP from $3,300 to $22,800 per medication.
Nardachone allegedly bribed the three other teachers with monthly payments of $500 in exchange for their agreement to obtain compounded medications they did not need. Nardachone defrauded the SEHBP of more than $550,000.
The count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the ongoing investigation leading to the indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica Liu, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Opioid Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Unit in Newark.
Public records show Jason Nardachone works as a Social Studies teacher at Lodi High School.
The charge and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.