FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
November 7, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CO-LEADERS OF OXYCONTIN DISTRIBUTION RING CONVICTED OF CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE OXYCONTIN AND HEALTH CARE FRAUD
Trial Proceeded in Absence of the Defendants
BALTIMORE, Maryland - United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein announces that today a federal jury convicted Oliver Clifton Hudson, age 49, of Baltimore, and Gregory Wayne Banks, age 53, of Severna Park, Maryland, of conspiracy to distribute Oxycontin, health care fraud, obtaining drugs by fraud, possession with intent to distribute narcotics, misbranding of prescription drugs. Hudson was also found guilty of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise to commit narcotics violations.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “In addition to committing the serious crimes for which they were convicted today, the defendants demonstrated contempt for the American judicial system by making frivolous claims that they were not subject to the jurisdiction of the federal courts and that judges cannot control their 'flesh and blood.' The jury’s verdict shows just how wrong they were. The defendants were removed from the courtroom after refusing to participate in the proceedings, and the trial continued without them. Their antics did not help their case.”
According to evidence established at trial, between May 1999 and December 2004, Hudson and Banks oversaw a criminal enterprise that fraudulently obtained Oxycontin and other oxycodone prescription drugs from retail pharmacies in six different counties in Maryland, including Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Montgomery County and Harford County. Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance. The fraudulent prescriptions were created by using computers and photocopiers to accurately recreate the look of legitimate prescriptions. The information placed on the prescriptions by the defendants included the names of fictitious clinics they created, along with phone numbers they acquired to associate with the clinics.
During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants created ten fictitious clinics and misappropriated the names and DEA registration numbers of seven local physicians, who were falsely represented on the prescriptions as the prescribing physicians. When “runners” for the group presented the fraudulent prescriptions at a pharmacy, sometimes at multiple pharmacies in a single day, the defendants or one of their accomplices would be available to answer calls to the “clinic” from pharmacists seeking verification of the authenticity of a particular prescription. Pretending to be employees of the particular fictitious “clinic,” Hudson, Banks, or one of their accomplices, would assure the pharmacists of the accuracy of the information contained on the fake prescriptions. Once filled, the runners would deliver the Oxycontin and other oxycodone pills to Hudson and/or Banks, who would then sell them to others who, in turn, would resell them to street dealers. The government asserts that the defendants obtained well over 41,000 oxycodone pills using this scheme.
The defendants coordinated the payment for the fraudulently obtained drugs by providing their runners with government or private health insurance cards. Hudson and Banks obtained the insurance cards by paying a health care recipient “rent” for the use of his or her card for a period of time. By doing so, the pharmacies would charge a health insurance program for the cost of the Oxycontin and other drugs, and the defendants would only have to pay the co-payment.
The maximum penalty for running a continuing criminal enterprise is life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum term of 20 years, and a $2,000,000 fine. The maximum penalty for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, and for possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, is 20 years life imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine. The maximum penalty for defrauding a health care program is 10 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for obtaining drugs by fraud is 4 years and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for misbranding prescription drugs is 3 years and a $10,000 fine.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the investigative work performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Unit; the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Baltimore County Police Department; Baltimore City Police Department; the Howard County Police Department; the Montgomery County Police Department, Special Investigations Pharmaceutical Unit; the Anne Arundel County Police Department; and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant United States Attorneys Martin Clarke and Christine Manuelian, who prosecuted the case.
This page last modifiedJanuary 30, 2006