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Pharmacy Executives, Pharmacist Charged with $33 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

New Jersey


Ad By: Richard L. Smith 

Staten Island's William B. Welwart, 69, Bolivar's Ethan B. Welwart, 35, and Saddle Brook's Gary Kaczka, 62, faced arraignment charges today for allegedly defrauding Medicare and TRICARE through fraudulent claims for unneeded prescriptions.

Federal officials said the Welwarts are charged with paying and conspiring to pay illegal kickbacks, U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna disclosed.

The indictment highlights a scheme that ran from January 2017 to December 2020, involving pharmacies such as Apogee Bio-Pharm LLC in Edison, where William served as CEO and owner.

Ethan was Apogee's director of operations and had stakes in other pharmacies central to the scheme. Kaczka functioned as the lead pharmacist at Apogee. 

The defendants partnered with marketing firms to exploit insurance payors, including Medicare and TRICARE.

These marketers identified potential beneficiaries for high-priced medications and, upon their consent, routed prescriptions for expensive drugs like pain and scar creams to Apogee.

This scheme, which was laden with layers of kickbacks, caused a $33 million loss to federal healthcare programs.

The offenses could lead to penalties ranging from five to twenty years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 or double the illicit gains.