st. robert husband, wife sentenced for conspiracy
to distribute prescription drugs over the internet
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that two former St. Robert, Mo., residents have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs through Internet pharmacy Web sites.
Anthony D. Holman, 36, and his wife, Arcelia Holman, 44, both formerly of St. Robert, were each sentenced on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to eight months in federal prison without parole.
Anthony and Arcelia Holman pleaded guilty on Jan. 18, 2011, to participating in a conspiracy to distribute such prescription drugs as hydrocodone, alprazolam and zolpidem by using fraudulent prescriptions obtained through the Web sites they operated, beginning sometime in 2005 and continuing to Oct. 16, 2007. They also pleaded guilty to their roles in a money-laundering conspiracy related to financial transactions that involved the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
By pleading guilty, the Holmans agreed to forfeit to the government nearly $407,000 that was seized from their bank accounts by law enforcement officers as well as a BMW sport utility vehicle, a Chevrolet Corvette and a Toyota 4Runner.
Anthony and Arcelia Holman owned and operated PersonalizedRx, LLC, a Missouri corporation located in St. Robert. On four occasions from January through April 2007, they sold hydrocodone to undercover law enforcement agents through the Web site.
On March 7, 2007, Anthony Holman told an undercover law enforcement officer that the Web site generated $100,000 in revenue per month; another Web site in which he had an interest generated $50,000 in revenue per month.
Co-defendants Mark E. Fitzgerald, 40, and his wife, Nance R. Fitzgerald, 41, both of Eldon, Mo., Marvin Eugene Nelson, 64, of Waynesville, Mo., Yvonna G. Bays, 50, of Waynesville and Clifton Thibodeaux, Jr., 36, of St. Robert, have also pleaded guilty and been sentenced for their roles in operating illegal Internet pharmacies.
The prescriptions were filled by a pharmacy in Burlington, Wash., owned by Charles Reed. Reed, who was paid $15 for each prescription he filled, pleaded guilty to the unlawful distribution of controlled substances.
Customers of the Internet pharmacies filled out an online “medical history questionnaire” and submitted medical records via fax. Customers paid for an “initial consultation” via credit card or cash; medical insurance was not accepted. The identity of the customer, the medical information in the questionnaire, and the medical records were not verified. During a telephone consultation with a physician or physician assistant, customers would state what controlled substance they wanted to order, which the person conducting the consultation would then recommend be prescribed for the customers.
The physicians or physician assistants who conducted the consultations had no face-to-face contact with the customers, did not verify the clients’ identities or age, did not conduct any physical examinations or testing, did not verify any medical records and often were not licensed in the states in which the customers resided. The physicians or physician assistants conducting the consultations had no pre-existing physician-patient relationship with any customer, and did not communicate with anyone who did, before approving prescription drug orders.This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kate Mahoney and Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the South Central Missouri Drug Task Force and IRS-Criminal Investigation.
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