An area pharmacist, who operated a pharmacy in Jim Thorpe, and a doctor, who was with a Carbon County medical practice, were both charged with fraud counts in federal court in Scranton this week.

John Roman, 36, of Hazleton, who owned Community Pharmacy on River Street, Jim Thorpe, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of mail fraud. According to papers filed with the court, Roman downloaded vouchers for free medications then submitted them to pharmaceutical companies under the names of fictitious patients.

The federal charges also state that Roman worked with Dr. Andrew Dancha, 45, of Allentown, to obtain prescriptions for the fictitious patients from April 2006 to January 2009. The scheme allowed Roman to gain $546,543 in fraudulent reimbursements from the three pharmaceutical companies.

In a separate case Dancha, who was associated with Carbon Medical Associates, agreed to plead guilty to one count of prescription drug marketing fraud for selling promotional drug samples furnished to his office at the Carbon business to Roman to use in his pharmacy.

According to the complaint Roman faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In the plea agreement with the federal government, Roman has also agreed to forfeit the property that houses his pharmacy in Jim Thorpe, $546,543 in cash and a Chevrolet Corvette that he purchased from the proceeds of his illegal activity.

Dancha faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In May 2009 Dancha was placed in Carbon County's Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) probation program for first time offenders on a charge of furnishing false/fraudulent materials information and ordered to pay $350 and costs.

He was charged by agents of the state Attorney General's office.

The Community Pharmacy business has been closed for about a year, it was noted.