A Montclair woman, along with two New York residents, have been indicted on charges related to running an unlicensed veterinary clinic in Totowa.
Alia Muslih, 41, ran the Totowa Animal Hospital out of the Seven Star Pet Resort on Furler Street in Totowa, when she was arrested in August 2021.
In July 2021, an individual reported to the Totowa Police Department that her dog had died after a routine spay appointment at the Totowa Animal Hospital. An investigation into the hospital found that after the death of Muslih’s husband, she had continued to illegally operate the Totowa Animal Hospital without a licensed veterinarian on staff.
Yaser I. Abdel-Fatah, 50, of Buffalo, New York and Marco A. Gamarra, 64, of the Bronx, were operating as unlicensed veterinarians during their employment at the hospital, “during which time they conducted surgical procedures and medical treatment on animals,” according to a release from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
The charges include second-degree possession and distribution of prescription drugs and controlled substances; third-degree obtaining a prescription drug by forgery; second-degree theft by deception; third-degree forgery; second-degree healthcare claims fraud; second-degree insurance fraud; second-degree misconduct by a corporate official; second-degree and third-degree impersonation; second-degree money laundering; third-degree failure to file and pay tax; and third-degree and fourth-degree animal cruelty.
The second-degree offenses carry a sentence of five to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison; the sentence for the third-degree offenses is three to five years in New Jersey State Prison; and the fourth-degree offenses carry up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison.
Muslih, Abdel-Fatah and Gamarra are on pretrial release pending the disposition of this case, the release says.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about the incident or other incidents regarding Muslih, Abdel-Fatah and Gamarra to contact the office’s tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO.