NEWARK, NJ — A Cedar Grove man was sentenced on March 7 in Newark federal court to 50 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to defraud New Jersey state benefit programs, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. Brian Catanzarite, 43, a former gym owner, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to an information charging him with one count of health care fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Catanzarite admitted that from March 2015 through January 2017, he conspired to defraud New Jersey state benefit programs. Catanzarite was recruited by one of his former gym members to become a sales representative of a company that marketed compounded medications. The marketing company received a percentage of every prescription that its sales representatives steered toward a particular compounding pharmacy.
To maximize his profit, Catanzarite convinced state beneficiaries to obtain compounded medications regardless of their medical necessity. On several occasions, Catanzarite even paid an advanced nurse practitioner, introduced to him by the marketing company, or used a telemedicine service that was paid for by the marketing company, to fraudulently obtain compounded medication prescriptions. Catanzarite caused losses of at least $3.5 million and personally made more than $1.1 million from the scheme.
In addition to the prison term, Vazquez sentenced Catanzarite to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $3.5 million.