By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health LawWalter Beich, an Illinois pharmacist, pled guilty on November 17, 2016 to defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and several private insurers out of $2.4 million by submitting false reimbursement requests for prescriptions he had filled with counterfeit drugs or did not fill at all. Beich faces up to 12 years in prison.Beich is the owner of Corwin Pharmacy in Lockport, Illinois. On Thursday, November 17, Beich admitted that he was using patients' names to submit false insurance claims for prescriptions to insurers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Humana, Medicare and several others.Patient Information Used For Reimbursement.
Prosecutors said that between January 2010 and 2013, Beich used his patients' information to submit reimbursement claims for drugs like Levaquin, Advair and Abilify. It is reported that more than ten of Beich's patients received non-FDA-approved, foreign-made drugs instead of the ones they were actually prescribed.
Employees Were Unaware Of The Scheme.
Beich was allegedly able to get his employees to unknowingly falsify pharmacy
records by telling them he had received phone-in orders from physicians
. According to his plea agreement, only one of Beich's employees knew what was really going on. To cover this fraud scheme, Beich falsified signature logs and prescriptions.
In some situations, Beich would bill the insures for pricey over-the-counter drugs, knowing that he has actually dispensed things like vitamins, fish oil, or a cheap, foreign-made drug to patients. He would also bill insurers for drugs he gave to his friends and family members who had no prescriptions. He went as far as submitting claims for drugs he had received as samples.
Court Appearance and Sentencing.
Beich appeared in court before the U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve to plead guilty to two of the 12 counts of his indictment. He entered his plea to one count of health
care fraud and one count of identity theft
. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of two years that comes with the identity charge, which must be served consecutively following any other sentence Beich receives for the fraud charge. He will be enforced to pay $2.4 million in restitution.
Beich is expected to be sentenced in front of the U.S. District Court Judge John Darrah on March 29, 2017.
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Jones, Diana Novak. "Pharmacist
Admits Running $2.4M Prescription Fraud Scheme." Law360.(November 17, 2016. Web.
Accused of $2.4M Health
Care Fraud Scheme." Chicago Sun Times. (May, 26, 2015). Web.
About the Author:
George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health
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