Oklahoma pharmacist indicted on 40 counts of health care fraud
A pharmacist has been indicted in a $1 million false prescription scheme in Oklahoma City federal court.
Jeffrey Scott Terry, 37, is facing 40 counts of health care fraud from his pharmacy, Bratton Drug, in Mangum. He was indicted March 5 with submitting false claims to Medicaid and Medicare for drugs that hadn’t been prescribed or given to patients, according to a recently unsealed federal indictment.
Terry reportedly received more than $1.09 million from these fraudulent claims between August 2015 and last September. He operated the pharmacy since August 2015, where he received reimbursement from Medicare Part D and the Oklahoma Medicaid program, SoonerCare, for dispensing pharmaceutical products, according to court documents.
The indictment shows 40 false claims filed in the Bratton Drug prescription software, often for more than $1,000 at a time. The most expensive claim, dated to July 7, 2016, charged $18,000 for a fake prescription of a high-blood-sugar medication, according to the indictment.
“Protecting the health care system from fraud is critical to the stability and viability of the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester said in a statement. “We are proud to have an active partnership with Attorney General Mike Hunter and his office where we work collaboratively together to fight health care fraud.”
Agents from the Medicare Fraud Control Unit of the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office began investigating Terry after receiving a complaint of health care fraud on Aug. 2.
Investigators found that Terry used the names and prescriptions of several customers from his pharmacy to file false claims, according to court documents. Although the customers had stopped taking medication, he reportedly continued to bill their insurance for their old prescriptions.
A pharmacist at Bratton Drug told investigators a customer came into the pharmacy complaining that her insurance was being billed for a medication she didn’t receive, according to court documents. The employee also noticed Terry had billed another customer numerous times for a drug the pharmacy never had in stock.
Two employees said they saw Terry enter prescriptions in the software system, print prescription labels and throw them in a shred box, investigators said.
“In the beginning, (the employee) did not think much of this act until she looked at a discarded label and noticed that it was an expensive drug,” court records stated.
Terry’s wife, who filed for divorce last June, told investigators her husband billed her personal insurance for medications she hadn’t taken, using doctor’s names she had never seen, according to court records.
The defendant appeared for an arraignment Friday in Oklahoma City federal court. He was released pending a trial scheduled for May 14. If convicted, Terry could face up to 10 years in prison on each of the 40 counts with a fine up to $250,000, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
He would be required to pay restitution to the state and federal government for alleged losses to SoonerCare and Medicare, according to the news release. If found guilty, Terry would also have to forfeit purchases made with allegedly fraudulent funds, including property at 321 S. Robinson in Mangum, a tract of land in Greer County and a 2016 Dodge Challenger.
Investigators reported Bratton Drug closed in November, a month after the attorney general’s office executed a search warrant there.
“I appreciate Mr. Troester and his team for continuing to collaborate with us in cracking down on healthcare fraud in the state and for helping us hold perpetrators accountable for these types of crimes,” Attorney General Hunter said in a statement. “We must do everything we can to protect the Medicaid system, which serves Oklahomans in need.”