For Immediate Release - March 26, 2010

Roxbury Pharmacist Charged with Fraudulently Billing MassHealth Over $300,000 for Prescriptions He Never Dispensed

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announces the arraignment of a Roxbury pharmacist on charges he fraudulently billed MassHealth for over $300,000 for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) medications that were never prescribed by a doctor or dispensed from his Egleston Square Pharmacy. Aloysius Chukwukere Nsonwu, age 63, of Roslindale, was allegedly reimbursed by MassHealth, the Commonwealth's Medicaid Program, $300,230.99 for claims submitted between January 14, 2005 and January 23, 2009.

Nsonwu was arraigned yesterday in West Roxbury District Court yesterday on fifteen counts of Medicaid False Claims. Nsonwu was ordered held on $500,000 bail.

The Attorney General's Office began an investigation after the matter was referred by MassHealth's Provider Compliance unit. According to authorities, Nsonwu is the owner and sole officer of Egleston Square Pharmacy, Inc., located at 3090 Washington Street in Roxbury and is an eligible MassHealth provider.

According to authorities, Nsonwu submitted claims for dispensing these HIV medications to MassHealth using the identification numbers of 15 different MassHealth members and listed a prescribing physician on those claims who never treated those patients or prescribed those medications.

The investigation found that 14 of the 15 MassHealth members Nsonwu submitted claims for do not have HIV, none of them were ever treated by the doctor Nsonwu listed on the claims and with the exception of two of the 15 members, none had ever been to Egleston Square Pharmacy.

Nsonwu was arraigned in West Roxbury District Court yesterday where he entered a plea of not guilty before Judge Robert Tochka. Nsonwu was ordered held on $500,000 bail. He is due back in court on March 30.

As a result of the Attorney General's investigation, the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy suspended Nsonwu's license to practice pharmacy yesterday.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Ahearn of Attorney General Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division. It was investigated by Investigator Brian Robinson, also of the Medicaid Fraud Division, and Trooper Jose Cuevas from the Massachusetts State Police, with assistance from the Boston office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.