Margate, N.J., Firefighter Michael Sher pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to a $7 million role in an unraveling state health benefits scheme that has snared 16 people and, according to prosecutors, involved many more Shore-area firefighters, teachers, and public employees.
Sher, 40, of Northfield, submitted his retirement papers to the Margate Fire Department last week, according to his attorney, William J. Hughes Jr. Sher worked at the department for 12 years, according to his LinkedIn page. On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the state health benefits program. Prosecutors described Sher as a “manager and supervisor” in the scheme, a higher-level role that his attorneys said he would dispute at sentencing. Prosecutors said he marketed various compounded pharmaceuticals, including scar, libido, and vitamin creams, to people with benefits and recruited others to find more people with state health and insurance plans that paid for the expensive treatments.