Monday, November 28, 2022

U.S Based Nigerian Couple Face Opioid Distribution, Tax Evasion Charges

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A former pharmacist is accused of distributing nearly 3 million oxycodone pills while her husband cooked the books to dodge taxes, federal prosecutors in New Jersey said.

Princeton Junction residents Florence Ndubizu, 62, and Gordian Ndubizu, 67, were arrested Thursday. Federal prosecutors said all the charges stemmed from their former pharmacy in Trenton, which they operated as a “criminal enterprise.”

Healthcare Pharmacy distributed over 2.7 million oxycodone pills from 2014 through 2017, according to officials. It ended when the DEA ordered the pharmacy to stop distributing controlled substances on August 31, 2017, after 20 years of operation.

As the pharmacist-in-charge, prosecutors said Florence Ndubizu knowingly filled bogus prescriptions. Authorities believe she directed employees to fill the fraudulent oxycodone scripts for cash-paying customers, including street-level drug dealers.

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In a 28-month period, the Trenton pharmacy diverted over 80,000 oxycodone pills, according to prosecutors. They add Florence Ndubizu manipulated records to hide the discrepancy from state and federal authorities.

Macro of oxycodone opioid tablets

She is charged with three counts related to the distribution of controlled substances. The maximum total sentence on these charges is 60 years in prison and a $2.5 million fine.

Her husband Gordian Ndubizu, a professor of accounting at Drexel University, is accused of falsifying their tax filings. Prosecutors said he hide $3.3 million in income from the pharmacy to evade $1.3 million in taxes.

Authorities said that in an attempt to reduce the pharmacy's reported profits, Gordian Ndubizu inflated reported costs. He is accused of labeling some wire transfers as purchases for goods when the money instead actually went to personal bank accounts in Nigeria.

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Gordian Ndubizu faces four counts of tax evasion and four counts of filing false tax returns. The maximum combined sentence on these charges is 32 years in prison and an $800,000 fine.


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