Local NJ Marketing Exec Jailed for Major Health Care Fraud Scheme Involving $6M in Losses
Michael Drobish Receives 15-Month Sentence for Exploiting Health Benefits Programs Through Compounded Prescription Drug Conspiracy
In a significant legal development, Michael Drobish, 46, the former owner of a New Jersey marketing company, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison. Drobish's conviction is linked to a fraudulent scheme that siphoned over $6 million from public and private health benefits programs through the billing of non-essential compounded prescriptions. This case was brought to light by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Drobish, a resident of Cedar Grove, NJ, admitted to the charges via videoconference before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez. The sentencing was executed by U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court. Drobish's guilty plea was for conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger criticized Drobish's actions stating, “This defendant exploited the health care system...These compounding fraud schemes cause millions in losses to the health care system with zero benefit to beneficiaries."
Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the risk such schemes pose to TRICARE, the healthcare system for military members and their families.
From April 2014 to January 2017, Drobish and his accomplices submitted fraudulent prescriptions to various insurance plans, capitalizing on the high reimbursement rates for compounded medications like scar creams and vitamins.
Using his marketing company, Drobish employed sales representatives to target insured individuals and persuade them to obtain unnecessary prescriptions, often bribing them. These prescriptions were then issued by telemedicine companies, paid by Drobish's company, often without proper medical examinations.
The prescriptions were filled by compounding pharmacies in collusion with Drobish, who subsequently received a cut from the reimbursements. The criminal proceeds amounted to $532,650, with a restitution order of approximately $6.1 million.
The investigation, led by the FBI under Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, and the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, was key to the sentencing. The government's case was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordann Conaboy of the Opioid Abuse and Prevention Unit in Newark.
This case highlights the ongoing battle against healthcare fraud and the commitment of law enforcement agencies to protect public funds and ensure the integrity of healthcare systems.