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The New Jersey Department of Human Services. (Photo: Joey Fox for the New Jersey Globe).

Former state official pleads guilty to healthcare fraud

By Joey Fox, January 04 2023 3:53 pm

U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced today that Harry Pizutelli, an Edison resident and the former manager of the New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Fund (TBI Fund), has admitted to defrauding the fund of more than $4.5 million alongside co-conspirator Maritza Flores.

Pizutelli, Flores, and a third defendant – C.R. Kraus, whose charges remain pending – were first charged in January 2021 with defrauding the TBI Fund, a program run by the Division of Disability Services which provides support and services for those with traumatic brain injuries.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, the three defendants orchestrated a series of false vendor payments that went into their own pockets rather than towards any actual services. The crimes were committed over the course of a ten-year period, from 2009 through June 2019.

Pizutelli and Flores both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, while Flores also pleaded guilty to tax evasion; each charge carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

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