Two Pharmacists Were Allegedly Paid at Least $13 Million by Bogus Online Pharmacy Operators for Filling Invalid Prescriptions Issued by Various Doctors
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Robert G. Koval, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), today announced charges against two pharmacists, PETER J. RICCIO and LENA LASHER; three physicians, JOHN NICHOLAS BURLING, ROBERT P. IMBERNINO, and EDMUND S. KAPLAN; and five website operators, TIMOTHY KEAR, CHRISTOPHER RILEY, ADAM RISOLIA, GERGANA CHERVENKOVA, and PAUL GRYSZKIEWICZ, for their alleged participation in a multi-million dollar Internet pharmacy fraud scheme. The alleged scheme involved the sale and distribution of controlled and non-controlled substances to customers across the United States without valid prescriptions.
Nine of the defendants were arrested this morning and will be presented in federal court later today. RICCIO, LASHER, KEAR, and GRYSZKIEWICZ will appear in Manhattan federal court, and KAPLAN and IMBERNINO will both appear in the Central District of California. BURLING, RILEY, and RISOLIA will make their initial court appearances in the districts of South Carolina, Maryland, and Florida (Southern), respectively. CHERVENKOVA, a Bulgarian citizen based in Bulgaria, remains at large. In addition to the arrests, multiple search warrants were executed and bank accounts seized in connection with today’s charges.