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2 accused of defrauding Rite Aid

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania filed charges against a New Jersey businessman and a former company vice president after they were accused of being involved in a kickback scheme. The report stated that the 54-year-old New Jersey man and the former vice president, a 65-year-old Oregon man, allegedly made more than $14 million from the scheme.

Both men were accused of conspiring for nine years to defraud the drug store chain company Rite Aid. The indictment alleged that the former vice president made the company believe that its surplus inventory had been sold to a company that was owned by the New Jersey man. However, it was alleged that the surplus was actually sold to third parties and that the two accused men were pocketing the difference. The New Jersey business man would then provide the former vice president with kickbacks.

The New Jersey man is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The 65-year-old former vice president was charged with making false statements to the law enforcement agencies when he was interviewed by the FBI in January 2014. However, he later allegedly admitted to the conspiracy and voluntarily relinquished just under $3 million in cash. Both defendants filed plea agreements, which obligated them to pay an unreported amount of restitution to Rite Aid.

Those who are accused of financial crimes may face serious penalties, which could include a jail sentence. There are several defense strategies that can be employed depending on the case circumstances. For example, a lawyer could argue that an individual was unknowingly involved in the alleged scheme. Otherwise, the person could potentially plead guilty to the charges through a negotiated agreement to seek reduced penalties.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Former Rite Aid VP faces federal charges for alleged inventory kickback scheme", Jim Boyle, December 19, 2014

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