Grand Jury indicts former Creve Coeur pharmacy owner in kickback scheme
ST. LOUIS – Earlier this week a federal grand jury indicted Michael McCormac with one count of health care fraud and three counts of violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute. The indictment was suppressed until today.
The indictment charges Michael McCormac, the former owner of GoLiveWell Pharmacy in Creve Coeur, Missouri with one count of health care fraud and three counts of violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute. McCormac is accused of paying kickbacks to marketing companies for referrals of prescriptions for topical creams, oral medications, and antibiotic and antifungal drugs referred to as “foot bath” drugs, which were filled by GoLiveWell and reimbursed by federal health insurance.
McCormac is accused of paying the kickbacks to marketing companies as various percentages, or “margins,” which are net profits on each prescription. The indictment also alleges that McCormac was aware that patients often did not have a valid doctor/patient relationship with the providers who signed the prescriptions and that the prescriptions were not medically necessary.
GoLiveWell primarily functioned as a mail-order pharmacy, which filled prescriptions for federal health insurance beneficiaries throughout the United States between on or about March 17, 2017 and November 30, 2019. Through the health care fraud and kickback scheme alleged in the indictment, Medicare paid at least $4.7 million to GoLiveWell to which it was not entitled, Missouri Medicaid paid at least $490,000 to GoLiveWell to which it was not entitled, and Ohio Medicaid paid at least $330,000 to GoLiveWell to which it was not entitled.
“Individuals who seek to enrich themselves through kickback fraud schemes -- as alleged in this case -- undermine the taxpayer-funded Medicare and Medicaid programs and drive up health care costs for everyone,” said Special Agent in Charge Curt L. Muller, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. “We remain committed to working closely with our law enforcement partners to swiftly investigate such fraud allegations.”
Charges set forth in the indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.