- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 4, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A man admitted in federal court in New Jersey on Wednesday that he defrauded a military insurance program after he was recruited into the scheme by a former Major League Soccer TV analyst.

Jason Cerge, 41, of Media, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

He admitted he participated in a scheme to defraud Tricare by submitting fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary prescription compounded medications. Prosecutors say he recruited a former member of the U.S. military and that person approached others in the military.

Prosecutors say the conspirators knew Tricare reimbursed pharmacies for each of the medications and the conspirators entered into agreements with pharmacies nationwide to receive a percentage of the amount reimbursed for each prescription diverted to that pharmacy.

Cage was recruited by Peter Pappas, who pleaded guilty in the scheme last year. Pappas was an analyst for the Philadelphia Union and also a pharmaceutical salesman.

Pappas admitted he was recruited by a marketing company that was paid by pharmacies to refer people whose insurance paid for compounded medication, including pain creams, scar creams and vitamins. He also admitted to recruiting others.

The former goalkeeper on the defunct Philadelphia Kixx indoor soccer team has been the Union’s TV analyst since 2014. He is a district sales manager for New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Celgene, according to his LinkedIn page.

At the time of his indictment, he described himself on Twitter as a “Canadian former soccer pro turned Rx slinger.”

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