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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
July 8, 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

 

Camden County Counselor Pleads Guilty to Practicing Medicine Without a License

TRENTON - Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that a Camden County counselor has pleaded guilty to a charge of practicing medicine without a license.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Anthony G. Panichella, 50, The Mews, Haddonfield, Camden County, pleaded guilty before Camden County Superior Court Judge William J. Cook to a criminal Accusation filed by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. The Accusation charged Panichella with practice of medicine and surgery or podiatry by an unlicenced person (3rd degree). When sentenced on Aug. 18, Panichella faces up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The case will be referred to the Board of Professional Counselors for action with respect to Panichella’s professional license.

At the guilty plea hearing, Panichella, a licenced counselor and owner/operator of Progressive Counseling Services in Audobon, Camden County, admitted that from January - August, 2004, he submitted at least one prescription for Hydrocodone to a Collingswood pharmacy under the name of Dr. Peter Calafiura. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Panichella fraudulently submitted more than 75 prescriptions using Calafiura’s name. The investigation further revealed that Calafiura and Panichella worked together at Genesis Counseling in Collingswood, but that Panichella was terminated in 2003. It is charged that Calafiura did not give Panichella permission to submit prescriptions for Hydrocodone on his behalf. Panichella was licensed to counsel patients, but not to prescribe medications.

State Investigator Ralph Anilo and Deputy Attorney General Erik Daab were assigned to the investigation into this case. DAG Daab represented the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea hearing. The case was referred to the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor by the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. The Collingswood Police Department assisted in the investigation.


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