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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Former Medical Employees Plead Guilty to Prescription Fraud Scheme

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two women pleaded guilty yesterday for their respective roles in helping run a “pill mill,” which led to the fraudulent dispensing of thousands of prescription opioid pills.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Kimberly Lancaster, 41, of Haymarket, was the office manager, and Susan Alcantara, 29, of Leesburg, was a medical assistant at an addiction/pain treatment clinic and an OB/GYN practice (“The Medical Practices”), which both operated in the same location in Northern Virginia. From at least June 2018 through June 2019, both Lancaster and Alcantara assisted a physician in operating a prescription “pill mill” at which so-called “patients,” many of whom were actually cash-paying customers, could obtain medically unnecessary prescriptions.

Lancaster, despite having no medical qualifications or training, often provided medical advice to the physician regarding the dispensing of prescription medications to individuals who were not patients of the physician. Lancaster also falsified medical records on behalf of the physician to make it appear as though patients and individuals who were never patients of The Medical Practices received medical examinations when in fact they had not. The physician often paid Lancaster for her services through the issuance of opioid prescriptions. Alcantara filled fraudulent prescriptions for opioid medications in her name and the names of at least four unwitting individuals at various pharmacies in Northern Virginia. Despite being aware of Alcantara’s opioid addiction, the physician provided many of the fraudulent prescriptions to Alcantara that were written in the names of unwitting individuals that the physician had never medically examined. 

Lancaster and Alcantara’s participation in the prescription fraud scheme led to the fraudulent filling and dispensing of thousands of prescription opioid pills at pharmacies in Northern Virginia. Lancaster and Alcantara’s actions also caused the Medicaid health care benefit program to pay for fraudulently dispensed prescription opioids.

Lancaster pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, and prescription fraud. She faces a maximum penalty of 24 years in prison when sentenced on July 31.

Alcantara pleaded guilty to prescription fraud and false statements related to a health care matter. She faces a maximum penalty of 9 years in prison when sentenced on July 31.

Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Kevin Vorndran, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Criminal Division; and Maureen Dixon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the pleas. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Raj Parekh and Monika Moore are prosecuting the cases.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 1:20-cr-61 and 81.

Topic(s): 
Opioids
Prescription Drugs
Health Care Fraud
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated March 31, 2020