The state of Connecticut has sued a Florida-based compound pharmacy for violations against the Connecticut False Claims Act. The lawsuit calls for civil penalties, treble damages and other relief under the Connecticut False Claims Act, according to a press release from the Office of the State Attorney General George Jepsen.
The state alleges that the compound pharmacy, Assured Rx, which holds a non-resident pharmacy license in Connecticut, colluded with Nicholas Maulucci, a retired employee of the state Department of Corrections, and his former spouse, Lisette Maulucci, in a scheme to file false claims with the Connecticut Pharmacy Benefit Plan. The taxpayer-funded plan provides prescription drug benefits to state employees and their family members, according to the press release.
The Mauluccis channeled kickback payments to other members of the pyramid scheme through the formation of NLM, LLC, a limited liability company registered in Florida, according to the press release.
Jepsen said the evidence of the scheme shows the involvement of a number of former and current state employees.
"The fraud we are alleging in this lawsuit is simply egregious,” Jepsen said. “[They] defrauded the state employee pharmacy plan to the tune of millions of dollars in exchange for their receipt of kickbacks from Assured Rx for these extremely expensive compounded drugs. My office will continue to aggressively investigate and hold accountable those who seek defraud Connecticut's taxpayers by filing false claims in our employee and public healthcare programs."
Assured Rx paid the Mauluccis kickbacks for their own compound drug prescriptions along with the prescriptions of the state employees recruited into the scheme. Assured Rx used reimbursements from the Pharmacy Benefit Plan for the dispensing of the compound drug products.
The state alleges that fraudulent payments through the pyramid scheme cost the Pharmacy Benefit Plan $394,403 for prescriptions for Nicholas Maulucci and $442,477 for prescriptions for Lisette Maulucci. The Mauluccis allegedly received a total of $2,655,958 in compensation, according to the press release.
Governor Dannel Malloy released a statement following the allegations, calling them “deeply troubling” and “completely unacceptable,” according to WTNH News.
“If proven true, they run afoul of the very core of what it means to be a public servant,” Malloy said. “Working for the people of Connecticut necessarily means that one's conduct comports with the highest standard of integrity, honesty and professionalism. 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."
The Mauluccis along with their company, NLM, allegedly used other individuals to arrange for prescriptions of Assured Rx for themselves and covered family and friends, which have cost the Pharmacy Benefit Plan a total of $5,745,773 and paid $230,764 through the scheme. Legal action against these individuals is possible further in the investigation, according to the press release.
This is the second lawsuit related to compound drug billing fraud as a result of state investigation, according to the press release.
Kristina Carretero is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.