Corporate Compliance

MA pharmacist pleads guilty to fraudulent prescription billing scheme

Compliance Monitor, July 27, 2011

Ernest McGee, 40, a pharmacist in Dorchester, MA, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States government by submitting over $204,000 in false claims to Medicaid, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.

McGee, an assistant pharmacist at Codman Square Pharmacy, and pharmacy owner Amadiegwu Onujiogu paid customers to bring prescriptions to the pharmacy purportedly issued and signed by the individuals’ physicians, but did not actually dispense the medications to the customers. According to the DOJ, Onujiogu and McGee still submitted claims for payment to Medicaid and Medicare for the prescriptions and refills. Customers received payments that ranged from one-tenth to one-third of the amount that the pharmacy would bill Medicaid and sometimes Medicare as a secondary insurance.

Some of the fraudulently billed medications cost more than $1,000 for a one-month supply. Pharmacy records show that Onujiogu and McGee fraudulently billed in excess of $204,000 to Medicaid.

McGee faces up to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

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