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Mississippi Woman Pleads Guilty To Involvement To Defraud TRICARE Of $200 Million In False Claims

wheelchair-567809_640.jpgFederal officials say a Mississippi woman was involved in a scheme to defraud TRICARE of $200 million by fraudulently formulated compounded medications for military members and their dependents.

The 52-year-old owner and operator of an exclusive marketing agency for a compounding pharmacy in Hattiesburg pled guilty to allegations that she received half of the reimbursements from TRICARE obtained by the pharmacy, knowing full well that the medications were formulated to maximize reimbursements instead of in a manner to meet the health needs of those to whom they were given.

Investigators say she obtained prescribers' signatures on blank prescription forms, then completed the forms with names of TRICARE beneficiaries that she and her husband recruited as well as with the names of her own children. Per investigators, she was fully aware that the pharmacy would then fill those scrips and bill TRICARE for the falsified prescriptions.

In addition to the fraudulent scrips, federal investigators say she was involved in a money laundering and tax evasion operation intended to mask the ill-gotten proceeds. Between the spring of 2012 and early 2016, the defendant allegedly evaded $6.6 million in federal taxes.

Last Wednesday the defendant pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and tax evasion in the chambers of U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett of the Southern District of Mississippi. She will return there for sentencing in early July. In addition to potential prison time, she also forfeited over $15 million in cash and other assets to the federal government.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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