Connecticut has initiated a lawsuit against Assured Rx, a Florida compounding pharmacy that holds a nonresident pharmacy license in Connecticut, and several current and former state employees. The lawsuit alleges the defendants orchestrated a kickback pyramid scheme related to the Connecticut Pharmacy Benefit Plan, which provides prescription drug benefits to enrolled state employees and eligible family members.
The state is claiming that Assured Rx conspired with Nicholas Maulucci, a retired employee of the state Department of Correction, and his ex-wife Lisette Maulucci to file false claims with the Connecticut Pharmacy Benefit Plan. The state alleges that Assured Rx paid the Mauluccis kickbacks for their own compound drug prescriptions and those of other Pharmacy Benefit Plan members they recruited into the scheme. The other individuals then received pyramid-scheme-style payments from the Mauluccis, who registered a limited liability company in Florida for the sole purpose of channeling the kickback payments.
The state added that this scheme cost the Connecticut Pharmacy Benefit Plan nearly $11 million. The lawsuit also involves 11 additional defendants, including 10 former employees of the Department of Correction and a former employee of the Department of Developmental Services. The state is seeking civil penalties, treble damages and other relief under the Connecticut False Claims Act.
“The fraud we are alleging in this lawsuit is simply egregious,” said Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen. “Our investigation has developed evidence that we believe clearly shows how a number of former and current state employees, led by Nicholas and Lisette Maulucci, defrauded the state employee pharmacy plan to the tune of millions of dollars in exchange for their receipt of kickbacks from Assured Rx for these extremely expensive compounded drugs. My office will continue to aggressively investigate and hold accountable those who seek (to) defraud Connecticut’s taxpayers by filing false claims in our employee and public health care programs.”