U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman today announced charges against an Edison pharmacist and six other individuals who were allegedly running an illicit painkiller ring.
Vincent Hsia, proprietor of Lincoln Pharmacy Network, and six additional individuals were named in a 26-count superseding indictment relating to the distribution of oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. The seven individuals were charged with possession of oxycodone with intent and conspiracy to distribute.
The seven people charged were Vincent Hsia, 51, Flemington; Ryan Otskey, 36, Lyndhurst; Ivan Lugo, 34, Elizabeth; Cheryle Sutter, 31, Carteret; Keith Thompson, 33, Newark; Gary Cross, 27, Roseland; and Angelo Cifelli, 33, Nutley.
The superseding indictment also charges that Hsia filed false individual and corporate 2008 and 2009 tax returns. Specifically, according to the FBI’s Newark Bureau, the superseding indictment alleges that Hsia intentionally failed to report approximately $275,000 in income on his personal income tax returns and misstated Lincoln Pharmacy’s corporate tax returns by intentionally failing to include more than $1.2 million in gross receipts earned by the pharmacy.
Many of the individuals charged have already pleaded guilty to criminal complaints issued last April, charging Hsia and seven additional individuals with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Except for Hsia and Thompson, the original defendants have all pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Other criminal complaints alleged that individuals obtained blank prescriptions from the High Mountain Health clinic in North Haledon and from Town Medical Associates in Verona that were filled by Hsia for in excess of 75,000 oxycodone pills.
Another complaint alleges that Hsia filled prescriptions in the names of fictitious patients, utilizing a number of co-conspirators.
The trial date for the charges is Oct. 4. The oxycodone distribution and conspiracy charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years of imprisonment and a $1 million fine. The tax charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of three years of imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.