TRENTON – Two New Jersey women admitted Tuesday 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, and Jameshia Bryant, 26, of South River, pleaded guilty on Nov. 13 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, along with Lateefah McKenzie Body, 34, of Linden. 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 allegedly 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, which 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 Feb. 20, 2013, for Bryant and Feb. 21, 2013, for Jackson.
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 charges and allegations contained in the complaint against McKenzie Body are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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