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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
June 13, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
- Greta Gooden Brown, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor

 

Rachel Sacharow
609-984-1936

 

Essex County Optician Debarred from Medicaid Program after Pleading Guilty to $19,900 Medicaid Fraud

TRENTON - Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that an Essex County optician has been debarred from the Medicaid and related programs for five years after pleading guilty to falsifying his optician’s license in an attempt to bilk the Medicaid Program out of more than $19,900.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Mario Oliveira, Jr., 42, East Kinney Street, Newark, Essex County, was ordered by Essex County Superior Court Judge Harold W. Fullilove to surrender his Medicaid and related licences for five years, serve four years probation and pay more than $19,900 in restitution. Oliveira pleaded guilty on April 28 to a criminal Accusation filed by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor charging him with Medicaid Fraud.

At the guilty plea hearing before Judge Fullilove, Oliveira, an optician at Clear Vision Optical, Inc. located in Newark, admitted that between January 2001 and January 2003, he altered his outdated optician’s licence, which had expired in December 2000, to make it appear current and valid. Using the fraudulent license, Oliveira submitted more than 575 bills totaling more than $19,000 to the Medicaid Program for reimbursement for eyeglasses.

The Medicaid Program is funded by the state and federal governments and provides health care services and prescription drugs to persons who may not otherwise be able to afford such services and medicines.

State Investigator William Rodriguez and Deputy Attorney General Mark J. Ondris were assigned to the investigation. DAG Ondris represented the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the sentencing. The Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, which helps in the administration of the Medicaid Program, assisted in the investigation.

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