The Drug Enforcement Admiration took admirative measures and promptly suspended two providers and 7 pharmacies; DOJ further announced the enlargement of the Health Care Fraud Task Force into San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley.
Forty-one persons were indicted in 9 accusations for their participation in pharmacies and clinics pill mill network. The indicted persons consist of doctors, pharmacists, pharmacy executives and owners, clinic executives and owners, and drug traffickers and dealers. Their alleged conspiracy triggered the deviation of around 23,000,000 hydrocodone, carisoprodol, and oxycodone pills.
Furthermore, thirty-six search warrants, comprising 6 clinics pill mills and fifteen pharmacies, directed towards interrupting opioids deviation networks, were carried out by the federal law enforcers. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) further gave out immediate orders of suspension to 7 pharmacies and 2 providers for their participation in the distribution of controlled drugs without a justifiable medical purpose.
The HCF Unit (Health Care Fraud Unit) of the Criminal Fraud Section Division instructed the enforcement activities in partnership with USAOs (U.S. Attorney’s Offices) for Texas’ Eastern and Southern Districts and Massachusetts’ Districts including the Drug Enforcement Administration Houston Police Departments Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
The indictments quoted that the involved doctors, pharmacies, and Medical expertise understood the medical prescriptions had no justifiable medical use and were against the policies of professional actions. It further alleged that the executives and owners filled or had persons impersonating patients fill the illicit medical prescriptions at Houston based pharmacies. In 2019, the executive pharmacist and owners at one pill mill pharmacy allegedly distributed the 2nd exorbitant 30gm oxycodone pills amounts of all pharmacies situated in the whole of Texas State and the 9th largest amount in the U.S. Hundred percent of the oxycodone distributed by this pharmacy, every single pill of oxycodone that left the pharmacy, was in the exorbitant accessible prescription strength of that medication.
The accusations quoted that on specific occasions, the drug traffickers and dealers allegedly deviated and dispensed the controlled drugs to the streets, with various pills peddled to Boston from Houston. Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice Criminal Division Brian A. Benczkowski stated this indictment, carried out on 28th August 2019, illustrated the relentless efforts of the Justice Department in pursuing criminals, including medical expertise, peddling opioids for net income. Further added that with the application of the department’s data analytic tools, no criminal activity will remain uncovered and warned those behaving like drug peddlers will be arrested and be handled like drug dealers.
Special Agent Will R. Glaspy in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Houston Division said that this kind of criminal behaviors is fueling over 68 thousand deaths yearly across the U.S. Further assured that the DEA in collaboration with numerous law enforcement agencies will work relentlessly to ensures all medical expertise acting as drug traffickers in partnership with street peddlers face the law and pay for their actions. The drug dealers were flooding the streets with more than 23,000,000 highly addictive and harmful pills.
Special Agent Perrye K. Turner in Charge of the Houston FBI Field Office stated that abuse of opioids has disastrous and destructive effects on the community. The pharmacists, doctors, and nurses in this alleged indictment exploited their positions, breaching the communal trust they recorded on their oath to serve. Further said that this indicted medical expertise including their co-schemers, distributed millions of highly moreish medications onto the street of the society and assured that the FBI department of Houston was committed and will partner with numerous law enforcement agencies to prevent this epidemic and safeguard the surrounding neighborhoods.
Besides this publicized indictment, carried out 28th August 2019, the U.S. Attorneys Josh Bash and Ryan K. Patrick and Assistant Attorney General of Department of Justice Criminal Division Brian A. Benczkowski said that the Health Care Fraud Unit Strike Force will enlarge into San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley, making it the twenty-fourth district with their presence. Further stressed that the Health Care Fraud Unit Strike Force was a collaborative law enforcement undertaking that combines the expertise and resources of the USAOs, Health Care Fraud Unit, and the Law enforcement agencies from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Patrick for Texas’ Southern District said that, to a great extent, the alleged clinics only care about making profits, not the patients. There is no permitted medical physician would prescribe, and no certified pharmacist would fill the alleged massive quantities and combinations of FDA controlled drugs if they cared about the patients. Patrick added that Pill mills are just crime magnets and must be eliminated, and He was delighted and willing to collaborate with other agencies or departments of the police in closing down and indicating these places. Further assured that the department was yearning to enlarge their activities into health care fraud being undertaken in Rio Grande Valley because the criminals were wasting taxpayers’ funds and turning the health care system unaffordable to all.
Bash of the Texas Western District said that he was delighted to partner with Patrick U.S Attorney and Benczkowski Assistant Attorney General in the fight against Health Care Fraud in Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio. Further Health Care Fraud does not just rip off innocent taxpayers and patients, but also frequently endangers the patients’ health, as with the illicit dispensation of addictive opioids and focusing on Health Care Fraud will be their main course.
Law enforcement carried out further enforcement measures including the halt of the registration number from DEA and search warrants execution. Three hundred and fifty law enforcement agents carried out a sum of 36 seizure and search warrants, comprising 6 clinics and 15 pharmacies, in the Texas Southern District. The Drug Enforcement Administration further published ISOs (Immediate Suspension Orders) to back up connected investigative undertakings to obstruct an opioid drug deviation dispensing network.
The MFSF (Medicare Fraud Strike Force), which jointly collaborated with the Justice Department and the Department of the Health and Human Service in combating and stopping fraud and enforcing present laws of anti-fraud across the U.S., was under instructions of the Fraud Section. Following its establishment in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has maintained 15 operational strike forces in twenty-four districts and has indicted close to 4,000 persons for collectively debating the Medicare program over 14 billion U.S. dollars. Besides, the Medicaid and Medicare service HHS centers, jointly collaborated with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, to reduce the presence of deceitful providers and improve accountability in the health care system.
An allegation is just a formal charge of criminal behavior and not evidence. The accused remains innocent until and unless proved guilty under the due law process.
Individuals indicted with Health Care Fraud or Drug Prescription Scheme may face severe penalties. This is because the Health Care Fraud or Drug Prescription Scheme are serious crimes severely punishable under the law. In case you are indicted for Health Care Fraud or Drug Prescription Scheme, you must seek legal assistance to pursue and safeguard your rights. The Healthcare Fraud Group team consists of the best criminal defense attorneys with extensive expertise and offers the best possible service to attain results. Our team clearly understands the need to prove innocence upon allegations of the Health Care Fraud or Drug Prescription Scheme. Contact us today at 888-402-4054 for any legal assistance you may need.