NEWARK, N.J. – A Burlington County, New Jersey, doctor was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for his role in a telemedicine scheme to prescribe expensive compounded medications to patients who did not need them, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Bernard Ogon, 48, of Burlington Township, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez in Newark federal court to one count of health care fraud conspiracy. Judge Vazquez imposed the sentence today by videoconference.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Ogon admitted he signed prescriptions for compounded medications (medications with ingredients of a drug tailored to the needs of a particular patient) without having established a doctor-patient relationship, spoken to the patient or conducted any medical evaluation. Ogon often signed preprinted prescription forms – with patient information and medication already filled out – where all that was required was his signature. Then, instead of providing the prescription to the patient, Ogon would return the prescriptions to specific compounding pharmacies involved in the conspiracy. Ogon was paid $20 to $30 for each prescription he signed, and his participation in the conspiracy caused losses to health care benefit programs of over $24 million, including losses to government health care programs of over $7 million.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Vazquez sentenced Ogon to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $24.3 million and forfeiture of $75,000.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty, and special agents of the Department of Health and Human Services, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Jason S. Gould, Acting Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.