Three Lauderdale County Men Sentenced for Internet Pharmacy Fraud
BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge has sentenced three Lauderdale County men for their role in an Internet pharmacy mail fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, Special Agent in Charge David Bourne.
U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced MARCUS OAKLEY, ALFRED SHAWN JOHNSON and ROBERT RUSSELL on Dec. 8.
OAKLEY, 44, of Killen, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He pleaded guilty to those charges in August.
JOHNSON, 41, of Florence, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. Johnson also pleaded guilty to those charges in August.
RUSSELL, 45, also of Florence, was tried in September and found guilty of mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He was sentenced to 87 months in prison.
The three men were involved in a scheme in which they used falsified medical records to receive prescription drugs through Internet pharmacies. Their operation began in 2007 and continued through 2009, mostly in the Florence and Killen area. The Lauderdale County Drug Task Force ended the operation.
“The use and abuse of prescription drugs in this country, and specifically within the Northern District of Alabama, has reached near epidemic proportions,” Vance said. “This growing problem is further exacerbated by self-anointed, self-appointed “Dr. Feelgoods,” like these defendants, operating make-shift pharmacies out of their homes. The seriousness of this conduct and the harm it threatens cannot be overstated,” she said.
Special Agents of the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, the Lauderdale County Drug Task Force and the Lauderdale County District Attorney’s Office worked together on the investigation of this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terence M. O’Rourke prosecuted the case.
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The Office of U.S. Attorney
Joyce White Vance
Natural Disaster Fraud Hotline
Members of the public can report fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations through the Hotline, toll free, at (866) 720-5721 or the Disaster Fraud e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the News Release Justice Department Officials Raise Awareness of Disaster Fraud Hotline