HomePrinceton PacketPrinceton Packet NewsHusband, wife charged separately for alleged roles in drug scheme, tax evasion

Husband, wife charged separately for alleged roles in drug scheme, tax evasion

A former pharmacist was charged for her alleged role in distributing and dispensing large quantities of oxycodone and other controlled substances from a pharmacy located in Trenton, outside the course of professional practice.

Florence Ndubizu, 62, of Princeton Junction, is charged in a three-count indictment unsealed on May 12 with one count of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute and dispense and to possess with intent to distribute and to dispense Schedule II controlled substances, including oxycodone, between 2014 and 2017; one count of unlawfully distributing and dispensing a controlled substance; and one count of maintaining a premises for the illegal distribution of a controlled substance, according to information provided by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

According to documents filed in this case, between 2014 and 2017, Ndubizu was the co-owner and pharmacist-in-charge of Healthcare Pharmacy in Trenton. She and her employee conspirators, reportedly acting at her direction, allegedly systematically filled fraudulent prescriptions outside the usual course of professional practice, knowing that the drugs would not be used for a legitimate medical purpose, but instead would be illegally diverted, including to street-level drug dealers, according to the statement.

Ndubizu, operating a single-location pharmacy, allegedly purchased and distributed millions of dosage units of oxycodone, including over 800,000 pills in 2014; over 900,000 pills in 2015; over 800,000 pills in 2016; and over 200,000 pills in 2017, until the DEA suspended the pharmacy’s registration, according to the statement.

During each of the years 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, Healthcare Pharmacy was one of the largest purchasers of oxycodone in the State of New Jersey, according to the statement.

On Aug. 31, 2017, the DEA served Ndubizu with an order immediately suspending Healthcare Pharmacy’s ability to distribute controlled substances, including oxycodone.

Ndubizu reportedly diverted oxycodone pills to cash-paying customers, including street-level drug dealers with fraudulent prescriptions, and then evaded state and federal reporting requirements by manipulating the pharmacy’s dispensing records to conceal the missing inventory, according to the statement. The DEA conducted an audit of Healthcare Pharmacy’s inventory records and government reporting records and found that between April 2015 and August 2017 alone, Ndubizu and Healthcare Pharmacy diverted more than 80,000 oxycodone containing pills, containing more than 2 kilograms of oxycodone, according to the allegations.

The conspiracy charged in Count One and substantive unlawful distribution of Schedule II controlled substances charged in Count Two each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.

Count Three, charging Ndubizu with maintaining Healthcare Pharmacy as a drug-involved premises carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.

In addition, her husband was charged, also on May 12, for tax evasion and filing false tax returns, Sellinger announced.

Gordian A. Ndubizu, 67, of Princeton Junction, is charged in an eight-count indictment unsealed May 12 with four counts of tax evasion and four counts of filing false tax returns in tax years 2014 through 2017. 

According to documents filed in this case, during tax years 2014 through 2017, Gordian Ndubizu was a professor of accounting at a university in Pennsylvania as well as the co-owner of Healthcare Pharmacy in Trenton. The pharmacy was organized as an S corporation, the income of which flowed through to Gordian Ndubizu and his wife and was to be reported on their personal income tax returns.

Gordian Ndubizu allegedly prepared fraudulent books and records for Healthcare Pharmacy, inflating the pharmacy’s costs of goods sold to reduce and underreport the pharmacy’s actual profits flowing through to he and his wife, according to the statement.

Gordian Ndubizu identified certain wire transfers as payments to purchase goods sold by the pharmacy when these wire transfers were in fact made to personal bank accounts under Ndubizu’s control and to bank accounts in Nigeria associated with an automotive company under Ndubizu’s control, according to the allegations.

Each of Gordian Ndubizu’s tax returns for tax years 2014 through 2017 falsely underreported his income and falsely reported that he had no financial interest in or signature authority over any foreign bank accounts, according to the statement. Ndubizu failed to report approximately $3.3 million in income from the pharmacy, resulting in the evasion of approximately $1.3 million in tax due and owing.

Each count of tax evasion carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000. Each count of filing a false tax return carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000.

Florence Ndubizu is not charged in the tax fraud case, according to the statement.

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