Posted: August 26, Times-Leader, Wilkes-Barre
Updated: Today at 3:56 AM
State agents search pharmacy in Pittston
Business run by former Episcopal Church priest
By Edward Lewis email@example.com
PITTSTON – Agents with the state Office of Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Division searched a specialty pharmacy on Tuesday run by Gregory Malia, a former priest with the Diocese of Bethlehem Episcopal Church.
Agents were observed removing boxes and at least one filing cabinet from New Life Home Healthcare and loading the items into a large box truck.
Kevin Harley, spokesman for the attorney general, said he couldn’t comment as to why agents were removing items from the pharmacy because search warrants are sealed.
New Life, located on the fourth floor in the Penn Park Building at 48 S. Main St., specializes in providing medications and other products to those suffering from bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia.
The pharmacy is the target of a lawsuit that was filed in Luzerne County Court in October 2007 by Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, which alleged New Life officials improperly billed the insurer for medications provided to its employees.
According to the lawsuit, New Life had a contract to dispense medications to Blue Cross subscribers and was a customer of Blue Cross through a group health insurance contract that covered New Life’s employees.
The lawsuit alleges Blue Cross paid New Life nearly $3.6 million in medical coverage for two employees and Gregory Malia, while the two employees and Malia had primary medical coverage by other insurance carriers.
Malia, 44, of Laflin, is identified as the president and chief executive officer of New Life, earning a salary of $120,000 plus expenses, according to a divorce petition filed by his ex-wife, Ann Marie Morreale-Malia, with the county Prothonotary’s Office.
Malia couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.
It was unknown if the pharmacy was open, or if Malia was present when agents executed the search warrants at the pharmacy.
In an unrelated case, Malia is facing charges that he brandished a handgun during a fight involving his two estranged daughters and their boyfriends outside a Jenkins Township tavern on July 7.
Jenkins Township police alleged in arrest records that they found a loaded .38-caliber handgun in Malia’s Jaguar after the fight.
Malia was charged with five counts of reckless endangerment, four counts of aggravated assault and two counts each of simple assault and disorderly conduct. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 6 before District Judge Diana Malast in Plains Township.
After the charges were filed against Malia, the Episcopal Diocese suspended him from conducting priestly ministries or presenting himself as a priest.
Malia first ran afoul of the diocese in December when articles in the New York Daily News described him as “a big spending, champagne swilling, club-hopping priest from the coal fields of Pennsylvania” who frequents trendy Manhattan clubs “in the wee hours and spends thousands on top shelf liquors, doling out five-figure tips like silver dollars.”