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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 2, 2021

Federal Jury Convicts Pharmacy Owner Of Conspiracy, Mail Fraud, And Misbranding For Role In Multi-Million Dollar Telemedicine Pharmacy Fraud Scheme

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. Following a month-long trial, a federal jury convicted Peter Bolos, 44, of Tampa, Florida, of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, 22 counts of mail fraud, and felony misbranding of a medication.  Sentencing for Bolos has been set for May 19, 2022 at 10:30 am, before the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Bolos, Andrew Assad, Michael Palso, Maikel Bolos, Larry Smith, Scott Roix, HealthRight LLC, Mihir Taneja, Arun Kapoor, and Sterling Knight Pharmaceuticals, as well as various other companies owned by them, conspired to defraud pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), such as Express Scripts and CVS Caremark out of millions of dollars.  PBMs pay pharmacies for prescription claims on behalf of public insurance programs, such as Medicare and Tricare as well as private insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. 

Court documents and evidence at trial further proved that Bolos, Assad, and Palso – who owned Synergy Pharmacy in Palm Harbor, Florida – purchased prescriptions from Scott Roix for $500 apiece.  Bolos and Roix disguised these prescriptions’ purchases with bogus marketing agreements.  To obtain these prescriptions, Roix used HealthRight’s telemedicine platform to deceive patients into providing HealthRight with their insurance information.  Roix then steered doctors to issue prescriptions through HealthRight’s telemedicine platform by falsely telling the doctors the patients had requested the medications.  In fact, the medications were selected by Bolos because they were highly profitable.

During the conspiracy, which lasted from May 26, 2015 through April 1, 2018, Bolos paid Roix more than $30,000,000 to buy not fewer than 60,000 prescriptions.  Nearly all these prescriptions were issued through HealthRight’s telemedicine platform.  The doctors who issued the prescriptions did not know, never met, and never spoke to the patients. 

According to court documents, Roix, Assad, Palso, Smith, Maikel Bolos and various associated business entities previously pleaded guilty to their role in the conspiracy.  Taneja, Kapoor, and Sterling Knight pleaded guilty to felony misbranding in a conspiracy with Bolos.  Sentencing for all the defendants will be set for dates in 2022.

The trial and plea agreements resulted from a multi-year investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (Nashville); Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (Nashville); U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (Buffalo, New York); Federal Bureau of Investigation (Knoxville and Johnson City, Tennessee); Office of Personnel Management Office of Inspector General (Atlanta); and the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (Tampa). The U.S. Marshals Service also assisted in the investigation and the forfeiture of assets.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys TJ Harker and Mac Heavener of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney David Gunn of the Consumer Protection Branch in Washington prosecuted and tried the case. 

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Topic(s): 
Consumer Protection
Contact: 
Rachelle Barnes Public Affairs Officer (865) 545-4167
Updated December 29, 2021