Superseding Indictment Returned Against Pharmacist and Six Co-Conspirators for Alleged Distribution of Oxycodone; False Tax Returns

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 29, 2011 released the following:

“NEWARK, NJ—A 26-count superseding indictment was filed today against pharmacist Vincent Hsia, the proprietor of Lincoln Pharmacy Network, located in Edison, New Jersey, and six additional individuals, relating to the distribution of oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

The superseding indictment charges the following individuals with possessing with intent to distribute and conspiring to distribute oxycodone:

  • Vincent Hsia, 51, Flemington, New Jersey;
  • Ryan Otskey, 36, Lyndhurst, New Jersey;
  • Ivan Lugo, 34, Elizabeth, New Jersey;
  • Cheryle Sutter, 31, Carteret, New Jersey;
  • Keith Thompson, 33, Newark, New Jersey;
  • Gary Cross, 27, Roseland, New Jersey; and
  • Angelo Cifelli, 33, Nutley, New Jersey.

The superseding indictment further charges that Hsia filed false individual and corporate 2008 and 2009 tax returns. Specifically, the superseding indictment alleges that Hsia intentionally failed to report approximately $275,000 in income on his personal income tax returns for the tax years 2008 and 2009. In addition, Hsia allegedly misstated Lincoln Pharmacy’s corporate tax returns by intentionally failing to include more than $1.2 million in gross receipts earned by the pharmacy during the 2008 and 2009 tax years.

The superseding indictment was preceded by the filing of a criminal complaint, which was unsealed on April 6, 2010, charging Hsia and seven additional individuals with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Except for Hsia and Thompson, the original defendants have all pleaded guilty before the Honorable Susan D. Wigenton, United States District Judge, as follows:

  • Pasquale Pugliese, 35, Kenilworth, New Jersey (plea July 14, 2010);
  • Marc Calabria, 33, Nutley, New Jersey (plea September 15, 2010);
  • Michael Caviness, 50, Newark, New Jersey (plea October 7, 2010);
  • Thomas Giaimo, 29, Nutley, New Jersey (plea October 7, 2010);
  • Jason Caracappa, 31, Manalapan, New Jersey (plea October 12, 2010); and
  • John Dechiara, 20, Iselin, New Jersey (plea October 18, 2010);.

Finally, Edwin Martinez, 26, of Fords, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute oxycodone before Judge Wigenton on April 27, 2011.

In addition, criminal complaints previously were filed in federal court against Otskey, Lugo, Sutter, Cross and Cifelli. Specifically, the complaint filed against Otskey, Mag. No. 10-3213 (PS), alleged that he obtained blank prescriptions from the High Mountain Health clinic in North Haledon, New Jersey, that were filled by Hsia for in excess of 61,000 oxycodone pills, which pills were subsequently redistributed. Similarly, the criminal complaint filed against Cross, Mag. No. 11-8055 (MCA), alleged that Cross obtained blank prescriptions from Town Medical Associates in Verona, New Jersey, which he and his co-conspirators used to purchase approximately 14,000 oxycodone pills from Hsia at Lincoln Pharmacy. The criminal complaint filed against Sutter and Lugo, Mag. No. 10-3203 (PS), also alleged that they obtained oxycodone pills from Hsia at Lincoln Pharmacy using prescriptions completed in the names of fictitious patients, and utilized a number of co-conspirators, including Pugliese and Martinez, to fill those fraudulent prescriptions. Finally, the criminal complaint filed against Cifelli, Mag. No. 10-4206 (CCC), alleged that he furthered the conspiracy by driving co-conspirators to Lincoln Pharmacy and otherwise assisting with the distribution of oxycodone.

Judge Wigenton previously set a trial date of October 4, 2011, in this matter.

The oxycodone distribution and conspiracy charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years of imprisonment and a $1 million fine. The tax charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of three years of imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited Special Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration Tactical Diversion Squad, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell; Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; Special Agents with the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff; the Newark, Elizabeth, and Nutley, New Jersey police departments; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s and Sheriff’s Offices for the investigation leading to today’s superseding indictment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony J. Mahajan of the Narcotics/Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at or at one of the offices listed above.

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