Towson pharmacist admits fraudThe owner of the Towson...

MARYLAND NEWSWATCH

June 30, 1992

BALTIMORE CITY: — Towson pharmacist admits fraud

The owner of the Towson Pharmacy pleaded guilty to charges of defrauding the Medicaid program and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland, the state attorney general's office said yesterday.

Pharmacist Gerald Freedenberg, 52, pleaded guilty to felony Medicaid fraud and theft charges for submitting false billings to Maryland's Medical Assistance Program and the private insurer.

He admitted overbilling Medicaid $6,662 in connection with 71 phony prescriptions and submitting $22,500 in false prescription billings to Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Under terms of a plea agreement, Baltimore Circuit Judge David Mitchell gave Freedenberg a one-year suspended sentence and fined him $10,000. Judge Mitchell also ordered Freedenberg to make trebled restitution of $19,986 to the Medicaid program and $22,500 to Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Eight students joined Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke last night in his sky box at Oriole Park as a reward for good attendance and grades during the past school year.

The Herring Run Middle School students, some of whom had been identified by school officials as being "at risk" of dropping out, met Mr. Schmoke at the school last month. He told them that if they achieved perfect attendance and good grades during the remainder of the school year, he would take them to a baseball game.

One of the students who accompanied the mayor last night was Jeffery Tallie, 14, who is set to attend Lake Clifton-Eastern High School this fall.

A letter from the mayor said Jeffery was being honored for his good attendance during the entire school year and for his "exceptional grade performance."

The recognition left Jeffery's mother, Donna Tallie Nixon, who has three other children, bursting with pride. "I'm proud. I am one proud mother," she said.

Anne Arundel County:

An advisory group set up to regulate bingo parlors voted yesterday to reject a proposal that would have transferred Stephen B. Paskind's bingo license, saying it didn't have the legal authority.

The Amusement License Commission voted 6-0 to reject a sales package that would have transferred Mr. Paskind's license to a partnership among a Millersville real estate developer and four Baltimore lawyers. Commission members said they couldn't approve the transfer because Mr. Paskind has no license.

Mr. Paskind's bingo license was revoked in 1989, but he has been allowed to operate his Brooklyn Park bingo parlor by court order, as his appeal of the denial winds its way through the courts.

Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judge Bruce C. Williams heard arguments June 5 on the appeal of the license denial but has not made a decision.

The county has been trying to shut down Mr. Paskind's business, Bingo World, since 1989, when county officials denied him a license renewal because of alleged ties to organized crime.

In recent months, federal prosecutors in U.S. District Court have won convictions of defendants identified as Mr. Paskind's associates, who have admitted funneling profits from gambling, loan-sharking, robbery and other enterprises through Bingo World.

Baltimore County:

Kenneth C. Nohe, the embattled director of Baltimore County's Economic Development Commission, resigned yesterday.

Despite denying on Friday any intention of resigning within the next two weeks, Mr. Nohe submitted his resignation to Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden, and the action was made public late in the day.

Mr. Nohe, owner of the White Marsh Dinner Theatre, had held the director's job since November and was plagued by a series of controversies -- the most serious of them involving his sudden dismissal of three key commission staffers in March, including his deputy director.

Mr. Nohe was criticized for spending $1,700 of commission funds for expensive restaurant meals during the most serious budget crisis the county has endured since World War II.

More recently, commission Chairman A. Samuel Cook resigned amid charges that Mr. Nohe had excluded Mr. Cook and the volunteer commission members from the policy-making process.

Mr. Hayden's spokeswoman, Carol Hirschburg, issued the announcement of Mr. Nohe's resignation from his $70,000-a-year position and quoted his letter to Mr. Hayden as saying he had enjoyed the job but "I find that I must devote more time to my private business interest."

Carroll County:

A county Circuit Court jury has convicted a 51-year-old former marketing executive of shoplifting $27.92 worth of merchandise from the Westminster Caldor.

But John A. Gebhardt, who was arrested before he left the store on Oct. 18, says he was merely walking toward the exit to get a shopping cart.

As Mr. Gebhardt was wandering through the store that evening, part-time Caldor security guard Kevin Niebuhr said he saw the man place batteries, hardware supplies and videocassettes in a Fashion Bug shopping bag.

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