The state of Connecticut has filed a lawsuit alleging a kickback pyramid scheme involving a Florida-based compounding pharmacy along with several individuals who are former and current state employees in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Attorney General George Jepsen said the alleged scheme allowed the individuals’ prescription drug costs to be covered by the taxpayer-funded Connecticut Pharmacy Benefit Plan.

The state alleges that the pharmacy, Assured Rx, conspired with Nicholas Maulucci of Simsbury, who is a retired employee of the state Department of Corrections, and his former spouse, Lisette Maulucci, currently of Springfield, Mass., to file false claims with the Connecticut Pharmacy Benefit Plan.

According to the lawsuit, Assured Rx paid the Mauluccis kickbacks for their own compound drug prescriptions and those of other Pharmacy Benefit Plan members who were recruited into the scheme. The other individuals allegedly received payments from the Mauluccis.

The state says the total cost to the Pharmacy Benefit Plan for prescriptions for this alleged scheme was a little less than $11,000.

Governor Dannel Malloy released the following statement on the allegations:

“These allegations are deeply troubling and completely unacceptable.  If proven true, they run afoul of the very core of what it means to be a public servant.  Working for the people of Connecticut necessarily means that one’s conduct comports with the highest standard of integrity, honesty, and professionalism.  While the investigation remains ongoing into these specific allegations, it is understandably a grave disappointment and distressing when a current or former state employee fails to meet these expectations.  We also firmly believe that anyone who is guilty of defrauding the taxpayers must be held fully accountable.  To that end, my administration stands ready to fully assist the Attorney General in their investigation and will continue to work to protect against such abuse.”

Additional defendants named in the lawsuit include Carol Boardman-Scruse of Bloomfield, Ricardo Collazo of Bloomfield, James Corcoran of Wethersfield, Benjamin Franco of East Haven, Paul Germano of Berlin, Edward Heller of Enfield, Joseph Heller of Enfield, Todd Sokolowski of Stafford Springs, Todd Vining of Enfield, Francis Mancini, of Southwick, Mass. and Joyce Wright, of East Longmeadow, Mass.

The lawsuit stems from an investigation launched in 2014 by the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General.