News and Press Releases

Doctor Sentenced for Diverting Prescription Drugs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2010

Memphis, TN - SETH L. YOSER, 47 of Memphis, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson to serve 42 months in prison, $10,000 fine, followed by a 2-year period of supervised release announced Lawrence J. Laurenzi, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.  Judge Anderson also ordered Yoser to pay restitution of $400,000 to the Eye Specialty Group, Memphis, TN.  Yoser plead to an Information in July 2009.  The charges included Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Unlicensed Wholesale Distribution of Pharmaceuticals.

In July 2008, the US Attorney’s Office received credible information that Dr. Yoser, while employed and a partner at the Eye Specialty Group (ESG) was diverting large quantities of pharmaceuticals including Lucentis and Visudyne, which are used in the treatment of patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  This fraud scheme was accomplished by Dr. Yoser using a single dose vial to treat multiple patients with the unused vials being diverted to an unindicted co-conspirator.  Yoser and his co-conspirator resold those drugs back to ESG and to other medical practices in Tennessee and elsewhere.  The scheme continued for several years resulting in Yoser profiting in excess of $3 million.

As a result of the fraud scheme, Yoser caused false billings to be submitted to Medicare in excess of $900,000.

"Healthcare is a topic of everyone’s concern and with increasing costs and a declining economy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office recognizes the importance of diligently pursuing and prosecuting those individual who attempt to defraud the government,"  said U.S. Attorney Laurenzi.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the US Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorney Tim Discenza represented the government.

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