Online Pharmacy Bookkeeper Sent to Prison

An online pharmacy bookkeeper who illegally distributed hundreds of thousands of narcotics was recently sentenced to 5 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and 200 hours of community service.

An online pharmacy bookkeeper who illegally distributed hundreds of thousands of narcotics was recently sentenced to 5 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and 200 hours of community service.

Thomas Brooke, 54, of Cooper City, Florida, was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to commit money laundering, US Attorney Annette L. Hayes said in a press release. US District Judge Richard A. Jones, who sentenced Brooke, said the bookkeeper was responsible for the continued addiction of thousands of people because of the scheme.

The online pharmacy associated with Brooke sent drugs to 200 customers in Washington State between 2009 and 2012. This distribution included hundreds of thousands of hydrocodone, phentermine, alprazolam, and codeine pills for customers without valid prescriptions, according to Hayes.

These shipments produced more than $9 million in revenue for the online pharmacy over 3 years. The money was then laundered into a brick-and-mortar pharmacy in Florida called Discount Pharmacy.

The pharmacy had 4 sites, which solicited customers and provided a platform for Washington State residents to buy the drugs.

“According to the indictment, the conspiracy would continue to refill prescriptions even if no valid prescription existed,” Hayes noted in a press release.

In some cases, the pharmacy researched a physician in the resident’s area and used the physician’s Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) number without his or her permission, Hayes noted. In addition, the pharmacy was charging customers up to 10 times the normal price for the pills.

Hayes said in a press release that Brooke was “a key figure” in the scheme.

After the DEA seized the company’s websites, computers, and drug inventory in 2012, Brooke set up new bank accounts and manipulated deposits to avoid currency reporting requirements, according to Hayes. During sentencing, the judge remarked that Brooke showed “deeper and deeper involvement in the scheme” even though he knew they were being investigated.

Aside from Brooke, several other players in the scheme have been indicted.

Office manager Ali Lovins was sentenced to 3 years in prison earlier this month. She pleaded guilty last year to 4 felony counts: conspiracy to distribute controlled substances by means of the Internet, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to launder money, and conspiracy to introduce misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.

The “originator” of the scheme and a former police officer named Juan Gallinal is scheduled for sentencing in October 2016.

A registered agent for Discount Pharmacy named Jordan Truxell is awaiting sentencing in May 2016.

Craig Greer, a former police officer who helped promote the Internet scheme, will be sentenced next month. Kevin Kogan, who set up the websites and servers and tried to hide databases from investigators will also be sentenced next month.

A Miami, Florida, pharmacist named Jerry Delman, 83, will be evaluated for a medical condition, which could change how he is able to participate in a trial. Delman was indicted in May 2014.

This case was investigated by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Portland Tactical Diversion Squad, and the FDA’s Florida divisions.