Former VP of advertising for Rite Aid charged in alleged kick-back scheme involving Atlanta-based company Nuvision

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HARRISBURG — The former vice president of advertising for Rite Aid and two owners of Atlanta-based company Nuvision have been charged for their alleged roles in a $5.7 million vendor kick-back scheme, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Friday.

U.S. Attorney David Freed alleges that former VP James Pilsner, 60, entered into an agreement with Nuvision owners Larry Nuckols, 69, and Vance Taylor, 71, in which Pilsner would approve Nuvision’s invoices — some if which were false and inflated — for payment. In exchange, Nuckols and Taylor would “kick-back” a significant portion of Rite Aid’s payment back to Pilsner, according to Freed. This allegedly occurred between 1995 and August 2017.

Specifically between 2001 and August 2017, Rite Aid is accused of paying Nuvision approximately $45.3 million — Pilsner allegedly received no less than around $5.1 million in kick-backs over that time period. Another $634,300 was also paid to Rite Aid employees which was designated by Pilsner, the criminal complaint alleges.

Pilsner, a Harrisburg resident, also allegedly avoided approximately $157,648 in federal income taxes after he did not report his receipt of $411,500 in kick-back money in 2013.

He faces one count of wire fraud and one count of federal income tax evasion. Pilsner must forfeit his interests of approximately $5.7 million and his Harrisburg residence.

Nuckols, of Valdosta, Georgia, is charged with one count of wire fraud. He must forfeit interests in nine properties located in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Costa Rico, plus his half interest in a $1.3 million yacht.

Taylor, of Acworth, Georgia, faces 40 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and unlawful monetary transactions. According to Freed, the indictment seeks Taylor to forfeit approximately $1.2 million in U.S. currency, eight cash/investment accounts, 73 tracts of real estate in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, plus his half interest in a $1.3 million yacht.

Rite Aid is headquartered in Camp Hill, Cumberland County.

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