A doctor's office staffer has admitted her involvement in a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme that defrauded the government, federal prosecutors said.
Yudelka “Vicky” Ayala, 42, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a conspiracy charge and faces up to five years in prison when she's sentenced Sept. 20.
Ayala admitted that from 2008 to August 2017, she accepted at least $219,000 in cash payments and other bribes — such as expensive meals and designer bags — to steer prescriptions to the now-closed Prime Aid pharmacy in Union City. At the time, she worked at a doctor's office in Jersey City.
Those prescriptions were part of a scheme that resulted in Medicare and Medicaid payments to the pharmacy of about $24.8 million, prosecutors said.
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Ayala was among several people charged in the scheme, which also involved people associated with the pharmacy, prosecutors said. The business was a "specialty pharmacy that processed expensive medications used to treat various conditions, including Hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.