MANCHESTER RESIDENT CHARGED
PRESCRIPTION DRUG FRAUD
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RYAN MORIN, 31, of Manchester, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with obtaining controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, or subterfuge, and with making false statements relating to a health care fraud matter.
The criminal complaint alleges that, while he was on supervised release from a prior conviction in the District of Connecticut, MORIN fraudulently used physicians’ identities and DEA registration numbers to obtain thousands of pills of hydrocodone/acetaminophen, a Schedule III controlled substance (also known by the brand names Vicodin or Norco). Typically, MORIN would call Hartford-area pharmacies, identify himself as a medical professional, provide the appropriate DEA registration number and prescribe a quantity of 10mg/325mg hydrocodone/acetaminophen pills, along with other medications, for aliases that he created. MORIN then traveled to the pharmacies to pick up the hydrocodone/acetaminophen pills on behalf of the aliases.
It is alleged that, between May 2 and October 16, 2011, MORIN fraudulently used the identities of four different medical professionals to “call-in” at least 69 prescriptions to pharmacies on behalf of approximately 44 different patient aliases. Through this scheme, MORIN was able to obtain a total of 5,455 hydrocodone/acetaminophen pills.
On December 17, 2010, MORIN was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 12 months of imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release, for falsely obtaining more than 6,000 pills of controlled substances in a similar scheme. He was released from prison and began serving his term of supervised release on May 2, 2011.
Following his arrest this morning, MORIN appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford. MORIN is currently detained.
The charge of obtaining controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, or subterfuge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of eight years, and the charge of making false statements relating to a health care fraud matter carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG), the Drug Control Division of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, and the Newington, East Hartford, Vernon and Manchester Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Sheldon.
In October 2010, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and members of federal, state, and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies initiated “Operation Pharm Team” to combat the misuse of prescription drugs. Members of Operation Pharm Team include the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Offices of the Inspectors General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Food and Drug Administration, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Control Division of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, and members of local police departments.
U.S. Attorney Fein encouraged individuals who suspect health care fraud to report it by calling the Health Care Fraud Task Force at (203) 785-9270 or 1-800-HHS-TIPS.
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