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TX pharmacy owner arrested for healthcare fraud

Government officials have accused a Texas pharmacy owner of filing more than $5 million in fraudulent claims to several healthcare programs. The entrepreneur owned multiple pharmacies in Southern Texas, most notably in the Houston and Pharr areas. A government investigation has allegedly led to evidence that he and others used these healthcare facilities to file fraudulent reimbursement claims.

Government accuses pharmacist owner, sister and nurse practitioner of elaborate scheme

According to the charges, the accused had entered an arrangement with a nurse practitioner to file these fraudulent claims. The nurse practitioner would allegedly send prescriptions for medications to one of the business owner’s pharmacy locations. The prosecution claims patients who received these prescriptions either were not interested in getting these medications or did not need then. Regardless, they state the pharmacy would fill the prescription and file claims for payment. The government claims the pharmacy owner received $2.1 million in payment at one of their locations and an additional $3.5 million for another.

The government has also arrested the pharmacy owner’s sister in connection to these charges. According to the charges, the sister was also involved in the fraudulent submission of these claims for payment. If the allegations are supported, it is likely the nurse practitioner could also face criminal charges for healthcare fraud.

Accused opt for plea deal

Both chose to plead guilty to one count of healthcare fraud. Part of the deal includes avoidance of a jury trial. They now await sentencing with the court, currently scheduled to take place in November.