South Florida Pharmacist Convicted of Health Care Fraud for Role in $100 Million Compounding Pharmacy Scheme
A federal jury found a South Florida pharmacist guilty of health care fraud for his role in a massive compounding pharmacy fraud scheme, which impacted private insurance companies, Medicare and TRICARE.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Shimon Richmond of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Miami Regional Office made the announcement.
After a four-day trial, Ademola O. Adebayo, 55, of Odessa, FL, was convicted on Jan. 10 of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, three counts of health care fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Sentencing has been scheduled for March 19, 2019 before U.S. District Judge Moreno of the Southern District of Florida, who presided over the trial.
According to evidence presented at trial, from 2012 to 2015, Adebayo and his co-conspirators engaged in a scheme to defraud private insurance companies, Medicare, and TRICARE by submitting false and fraudulent claims for compounded drugs, primarily pain and scar creams, and other prescription medications that were not medically necessary, never provided, or both. The evidence established that in his role as the pharmacist at A to Z Pharmacy, a now-defunct pharmacy located in New Port Richey, Florida, Adebayo conspired to submit or cause the submission of claims that often amounted to several thousands of dollars for a single tube of pain or scar cream. In 2014, when insurance companies discovered the fraud at A to Z Pharmacy and terminated their contracts with the pharmacy, Adebayo agreed to become the straw owner of Havana Pharmacy & Discount in Miami, which Adebayo and his co-conspirators used to continue the fraud, the evidence showed.
The evidence further established that Adebayo personally benefited from the fraud and received $1.5 million, which he used to purchase luxury vehicles, including a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a Bentley, a Porsche and two Cadillacs, as well as a house in Land O Lakes, Florida, many of which were seized by the government.
Eight other defendants have pleaded guilty in this case. Nicholas Borgesano, 46, of New Port Richey, Florida, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role as the owner of A to Z Pharmacy and participation in fraud schemes that involved Havana Pharmacy, Medplus/New Life Pharmacy and Metropolitan Pharmacy, all of Miami; and Jaimy Pharmacy and Prestige Pharmacy, both of Hialeah, Florida.
In addition to Borgesano, the following defendants have previously been sentenced for their roles in the scheme:
- Scott P. Piccininni, 50, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, sentenced to 51 months in prison;
- Bradley Sirkin, 56, of Boca Raton, Florida, sentenced to 46 months in prison;
- Peter B. Williams, 58, of New Port Richey, sentenced to 26 months in prison, to be served consecutively to a 60-month sentence of imprisonment he is serving as a result of his guilty plea to a separate indictment returned in the Southern District of Florida; and
- Wayne M. Kreisberg, 41, of Parkland, Florida, placed on probation for a term of five years, to be served consecutively to a sentence of probation he is serving as a result of his guilty plea to a separate indictment returned in the Middle District of Florida.
This case was investigated by the FBI with support from HHS-OIG and DCIS and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Timothy P. Loper and Aleza Remis of the Fraud Section.
The Criminal Division’s Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 14 strike forces operating in 23 districts, has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $14 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.