News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - March 4, 2010

WAKE FOREST MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO HEALTH CARE FRAUD

GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday a Wake Forest man pled guilty to fraudulently obtaining Medicare Part D payments for prescription drugs. STEVEN THOMPSON, 42, pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge David W. Daniel to health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on December 17, 2009.

In January, 2006, THOMPSON, being disabled, enrolled in the Medicare Part D Plan that paid for his prescription medications. This part of the medicare program subsidizes the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. During the course of the investigation, a review of 310 prescription records, from January, 2006, to June, 2008, revealed that THOMPSON utilized the services of over 104 physicians and had 282 prescribed analgesics/narcotics which had been filled at over 20 different pharmacies. As of November, 2009, the cost of THOMPSON’s fraudulently obtained prescription medications paid by Medicare totals $45,195.

Mr. Holding commented, “Drug abuse through prescribed medications is a growing concern for our nation. The investigators of this case must be commended for their hard work in piecing together the many physicians and pharmacies the defendant used to try to hide his illegal activities. We must remain vigilant in order to stop this growing form of drug abuse and the fraudulent methods used to further burden our already taxed government health care system.”

At sentencing, scheduled for June 1, 2010, THOMPSON faces up to 10 years imprisonment followed by up to three years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, office of Inspector General; the Drug Enforcement Administration and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes is prosecuting the case for the United States.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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