New Canaan Man Sentenced to Prison for Role in Compound Prescription Fraud Scheme
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that KWASI GYAMBIBI, 41, of New Canaan, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 12 months of imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release, for health care fraud.
According to court documents, statements made in court and the evidence presented during his trial last year, Advantage Pharmacy was a compounding pharmacy located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. As a compounding pharmacy, Advantage created compound prescription drugs specifically tailored for individual patients who had a medical need for a compound drug, by mixing together individual ingredients in the exact strength and dosage prescribed by the health care provider to meet the unique needs of a patient. One tube of a compound drug cream prepared and dispensed by Advantage Pharmacy typically cost health care benefit programs thousands of dollars, and some individual tubes of cream cost more than $11,000 for a one-month supply. Gyambibi’s wife, Kakra Gyambibi is a physician who worked as a hospitalist at Stamford Hospital, and Kwasi Gyambibi acted as, and eventually became, a sales representative for Advantage Pharmacy.
In 2014 and 2015, Kwasi and Kakra Gyambibi engaged in a scheme to defraud the State of Connecticut Pharmacy Benefit Plan, TRICARE and other health care programs by submitting prescriptions for compound pharmacy medications prepared and dispensed by Advantage Pharmacy. Although the prescriptions sent to Advantage Pharmacy contained Kakra Gyambibi’s signature, Kakra Gyambibi did not treat, examine, or even meet with the patients for whom the prescriptions were written. Based on these false and misleading claims, the victim health care programs paid Advantage Pharmacy for the compound prescription drugs. Advantage Pharmacy, in tum, paid commissions of between 15 percent to 35 percent to sales representatives, including Kwasi Gyambibi’s close cousin, whom Kwasi Gyambibi considered his brother.
It is alleged that Kwasi and Kakra Gyambibi also induced the victim health care programs to pay Advantage Pharmacy more than $292,000 for their own compound prescription drugs.
The investigation has revealed that this scheme resulted in more than $1.6 million in losses to the victim health care programs.
Kwasi Gyambibi was arrested on an indictment on June 28, 2018. On January 9, 2019, a grand jury in New Haven returned a 19-count superseding indictment. On February 22, 2019, Kwasi Gyambibi was found guilty of two counts of health care fraud related to fraudulent prescriptions for compound drugs that were submitted to Advantage Pharmacy in March 2015, and found him not guilty of seven counts of health care fraud. The jury could not reach a verdict on the other 10 counts in the indictment.
Kwasi Gyambibi, who is released on a $100,000 bond, is required to report to prison on March 20, 2020.
On January 18, 2019, Kakra Gyambibi pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. On June 12, 2019, she was sentenced to three months of imprisonment.
Judge Meyer will issue a restitution order at a later date. The government is seeking $1,650,332.35 in restitution.
This investigation was conducted by the New Haven Division of the FBI. U.S. Attorney Durham thanked the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Connecticut, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Fraud Section, and the Jackson, Mississippi Division of the FBI for their assistance with the investigation.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David J. Sheldon and Christopher W. Schmeisser.