FL man sentenced in GA for Medicaid fraud involving medical ID theft

Often, press releases concerning Medicaid fraud contain elements of medical ID theft, as in this case:

Varian V. Scott, 36, of Miami, Florida, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. to federal prison on charges of health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The charges arose out of scheme to present forged doctors’ prescriptions for high-dollar cancer and HIV medications to dozens of Atlanta-area pharmacies using the identities of Georgia Medicaid recipients, causing the cost of the medications to be billed to the Georgia Medicaid program, and resulting in an approximately $1.1 million loss to state and federal taxpayers.

According to Acting United States Attorney Sally Q. Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: Scott directed and funded a health care fraud conspiracy between September 2005 and April 2006. Scott and his cousin, Hezron D. Collie, 29, of Atlanta, Georgia, bought blank doctors’ prescription pads from
insiders at Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute and two other doctor’s offices, one in Atlanta and one in Florida. They then bought names, dates of birth, and Medicaid numbers of dozens of Georgia Medicaid recipients (from whom? — Dissent), and forged approximately 164 doctors’ prescriptions for Neupogen, a chemotherapy drug, and multiple medications used to treat HIV, using the patient Medicaid information. A one-month supply of Neupogen costs approximately $10,000.

Scott and Collie then presented the forged prescriptions along with the patient information to CVS, Publix, Walgreens, Kroger, and Eckerd pharmacies throughout the Atlanta area. They also recruited a pharmacist at one of the Publix pharmacies, and a pharmacy technician at one of the Kroger pharmacies, to help facilitate the scheme.

Scott and Collie were indicted on December 16, 2008. On June 4, 2009, Collie pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of health care fraud charged in the indictment, and to a criminal information charging him with one count of health care fraud for a related scheme in which he participated between May and June of 2008, and cooperated with authorities. His sentencing is scheduled to take place before Judge Pannell tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.

The Publix pharmacist also cooperated with authorities and pleaded guilty to related charges in Gwinnett County Superior Court on January 13, 2009. The pharmacy technician was not charged in the scheme but cooperated with law enforcement. The pharmacies and the doctors also cooperated in the investigation.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia

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