Pharmacist Found Guilty Of Illegally Distributing Oxycodone
Tampa, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that a federal jury found Ihab "Steve" Barsoum (42, Lutz) guilty yesterday of one count of conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, and five counts of distributing Oxycodone outside the usual course of professional practice. Barsoum faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count. In addition, Barsoum’s DEA registration number, his Florida pharmacy license, $40,000 in cash, and two BMWs were also forfeited. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 7, 2012.
Barsoum was indicted on October 26, 2011, and the indictment was superseded on July 5, 2012.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Barsoum was involved in a conspiracy, from at least 2007, where he dispensed hundreds of Oxycodone pills. The pills were dispensed to customers passing fraudulent prescriptions and sometimes to customers who had no prescriptions at all. Customers came to his pharmacy several times a week, did not show Barsoum any identification, and presented him with prescriptions in various different names at one time.
Starting in 2011, Barsoum sold thousands of pills to a confidential source working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Barsoum instructed the confidential source on how to write the medical information on prescriptions that Barsoum knew were fraudulent. He also provided the confidential source with the name and DEA registration number of a real doctor to use for the fraudulent prescriptions. Evidence showed that Barsoum documented his files to indicate that he verified, with that same doctor, that the prescriptions were valid and the medication could be dispensed.
In all, Barsoum is responsible for distributing more than 40,000 Oxycodone pills without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice.
This case is part of “Operation Pill Nation II” - a concerted effort among federal, state, and local law enforcement, to combat the illegal distribution of prescription drugs in Florida and across the nation. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shauna S. Hale.