30 Pharmacy Staff Members Arrested in Money Laundering Scheme

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About 30 pharmacists, pharmacy managers, and other staff members were recently arrested in connection to a health care fraud and money laundering investigation.

About 30 pharmacists, pharmacy managers, and other staff members were recently arrested in connection to a health care fraud and money laundering investigation.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Miami-Dade Police Department announced in a press release that the arrested pharmacists, pharmacy managers, technicians, straw owners, and check-cashers were from 3 different organizations, but they all allegedly used pharmacies to defraud the Medicare Part D program.

“This was a complex scheme designed to defraud the Medicare program, hide the evidence, and conceal the identities of those involved,” Bondi said in a press release. “Thanks to the hard work of my Office of Statewide Prosecution and our local and federal partners, the targets of this investigation were arrested and the scheme stopped.”

The straw owners, or individuals who covered up the identity of the true owners, established pharmacies and applied for pharmacy licenses and Drug Enforcement Administration credentials. They also allegedly bought Medicare beneficiary numbers and physician prescriber identification numbers through illegitimate sources so that they could submit fake claims to Medicare for medications that were never dispensed, according to the attorney general’s office.

“Once Medicare submitted the reimbursements to the pharmacy, defendants immediately laundered the funds in an attempt to mask the source of the money and elude subsequent administrative and law enforcement investigations,” the press release stated.

Those accused of the crime apparently also moved funds between accounts “without legitimate business purposes” and cashed reimbursement checks at check-cashing stores.

The 30 or so individuals now face charges that include racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, money laundering, organized scheme to defraud, filing a fraudulent insurance claim, and criminal use of personal identification.

The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Miami Dade Police Department helped investigate these alleged crimes.

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