Pharmacy Chain Owner Convicted of Health Care Fraud

The owner of a pharmacy chain has been convicted of defrauding Medicaid and Medicare by submitting false claims for prescription refills, according to The Associated Press (AP).
Reddy Vijay Annappareddy, 46, was found to have defrauded the programs of $1.5 million, the AP reported.
Annappareddy hired Vipinkumar Patel and Jigar Patel to work as pharmacy technicians in 2009 and 2010 at Pharmacare and Caremerica, respectively, in Bel Air, MD. According to the AP, these 3 billed insurance programs for prescription refills despite the fact that the pharmacy customers had not requested the refill. The pharmacy workers allegedly used their customers’ real names, insurance, and identification numbers on the false refills, the AP reported.
After a federal search warrant was issued to examine a home listed in Annappareddy’s wife’s name, agents found undelivered medications worth $100,000 there at the home, which allegedly housed Pharmacare employees. Agents also found signature logs, which suggested confirmation of medication delivery to Pharmacare customers, according to the AP.
Both Patels have pleaded guilty to making false statements related to health care matters, and they will be sentenced on January 15, 2015. Annappareddy could see 10 years in prison for health care fraud, plus 2 years in prison for aggravated identity theft, and a $250,000 fine, the AP reported. He will be sentenced in March 2015.

Source:Office of Inspector General