News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MONDAY - September 13, 2010

WAKE FOREST MAN SENTENCED IN HEALTH CARE FRAUD SCHEME

GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on September 10, 2010, Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced STEVEN THOMPSON, 42, to 58 months’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release for fraudulently obtaining Medicare Part D payments for prescription drugs. The Court also imposed restitution in the amount of $17,650.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on December 17, 2009. On March 3, 2010, THOMPSON, pled guilty to health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347.

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, “A growing concern for our nation is the abuse of prescription medications. This defendant went to great lengths to hide his abuse through the use of many physicians and pharmacies and the investigators of this case must be commended for their hard work. This type of drug abuse and the fraudulent methods used to obtain the drugs places an even further burden on our already taxed government health care system and we must remain vigilant to stop the abuse.”

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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