September 07, 2011
Contact: Timothy P. McMahon
Phone Number: (973) 776-1143
New Jersey Pharmacist Pleads Guilty In Illegal Pharmaceutical Drug Distribution Scheme
NEWARK, N.J. - Brian R. Crowell, the Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement (DEA) and Paul J. Fishman , the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, announced Vincent Hsia, a pharmacist and the former proprietor of Lincoln Pharmacy Network in Edison, N.J., admitted today that he conspired to distribute oxycodone and that he filed false personal and corporate income tax returns for tax years 2008 and 2009 which failed to report his proceeds from the scheme.
In connection with his guilty plea, Hsia, 51, of Flemington, N.J., pleaded guilty to five counts of the superseding Indictment against him: one count of conspiracy to distribute (Count One), and four counts of filing false individual and corporate tax (Counts 23-26). Hsia entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton following his arraignment on the charges in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
Hsia admitted that he and at least eight co-conspirators participated in a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, for no legitimate medical purpose and beyond the bounds of medical practice between October 4, 2007, and April 2, 2010. Specifically, Hsia admitted that he knowingly and intentionally filled fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone completed in the names of fictitious patients.
Data obtained from the Automation of Reports and Consolidated System, through which manufacturers and distributors report sales of controlled substances, demonstrates that in 2007,
Lincoln Pharmacy’s purchases of oxycodone products totaled approximately 130,000 dosage units. In 2008, Lincoln Pharmacy purchased approximately 218,000 dosage units and purchased nearly 480,000 dosage units in 2009. The average dosage units purchased in 2009 by 171 pharmacies in Middlesex County, N.J., where Lincoln Pharmacy is located, was 101,514; by 1,966 pharmacies statewide was 78,817; and by 60,968 pharmacies nationwide was 62,927.
Hsia also admitted that he participated in the conspiracy in exchange for cash. He agreed that the approximately $600,000 seized by law enforcement at the time of his arrest was derived from the scheme. Hsia also admitted that he willfully subscribed to false individual tax returns and corporate tax returns on behalf of Lincoln Pharmacy, stating that those returns were materially false in that they did not report the true amount of cash Hsia made through the pharmacy in tax years 2008 and 2009.
The oxycodone conspiracy charge to which Hsia pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The violations of the tax code to which Hsia pleaded guilty each carry a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for December 12, 2011.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell; the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; IRS - Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff; the Newark, Elizabeth, and Nutley, N.J., police departments; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s and Sheriff’s Offices for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony J. Mahajan and Ronnell Wilson of the Narcotics/Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark.