Las Vegas man sentenced in fraud scheme, feds say

Las Vegas man sentenced in fraud scheme, feds say

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas patient recruiter was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in a multistate scheme to defraud a federal agency and TRICARE, the health care program for U.S. service members and their families, federal prosecutors said Friday.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Sherod Brown, 44, of Las Vegas, was among nine defendants sentenced Thursday for their roles in defrauding the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) and TRICARE.

According to a news release, the defendants submitted false and fraudulent claims to the OWCP and TRICARE for prescriptions for compounded and other drugs prescribed to injured federal workers and members of the armed forces. The defendants also paid kickbacks to patient recruiters and physicians to prescribe these drugs. The defendants chose the particular compounds and other drugs based not on the patients’ medical needs but in light of the amount of reimbursement for the drugs. The drugs were then mailed to patients, even though the patients often never requested, wanted, or needed them. 

In addition to Johnson, others sentenced included:

  • John Cruise, 52, of Houston, a former co-owner of Assurance Consolidated Pharmacy (ACP) in Spring, Texas, as well as an owner of the Injured Federal Workers Advocate Association (IFWAA), an organization that purported to assist injured federal workers. He was sentenced to 20 years.
  • LaShonia Johnson, 50, of Houston, a former co-owner of ACP with her husband and co-defendant Cruise, and director at IFWAA, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
  • Kenny Ozoude, 48, of Houston, former owner of Compounding Solutions LLC, a Houston-based pharmacy, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
  • James Don Jackson, 63, of Tyler, Texas, a doctor licensed in Texas, was sentenced to five years in prison.
  • Nirvana Hightower, 56, of Houston, a pharmacist licensed in Texas and pharmacist-in-charge at Compounding Solutions LLC, was sentenced to five years in prison.
  • Keith Hudson, 55, of Humble, Texas, a pharmacist licensed in Texas and pharmacist-in-charge at ACP, was sentenced to three years in prison.
  • Audra Jones, 46, of Houston, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison.
  • Terrance Aice, 50, of Carrollton, Texas, a patient recruiter, was sentenced to one year and six months in prison.

Four additional defendants — Dr. Jay Bender, Dr. Deepak Chavda, Donathan Kemp and Naresh Jivanji — are scheduled to be sentenced on May 25.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani for the Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Ulrich of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG), Special Agent in Charge Steve Grell of the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG), Special Agent in Charge Michael Mentavlos of the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DOD-OIG), and Special Agent in Charge Kris Raper of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Office of Inspector General (DVAO-OIG) South Central Field Office made the announcement.



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