Three Military Members Indicted For Paying Kickbacks To Tricare Beneficiaries To Obtain Prescriptions For Compounded Medications
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the return of an indictment charging Cordera Hill (27, Tampa), Anthonio Miller (25, Tampa), and Rashad Barr (24, St. Petersburg) with one count of conspiracy and nine counts of offering to pay and paying kickbacks in connection with a federal health care benefit program. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on each count. The indictment also notifies the individuals that the United States intends to forfeit the proceeds traceable to the offenses.
According to the indictment, in October 2014, Hill, an active duty member of the United States Army, and Miller, an active duty member of the United States Navy, agreed to become sales representatives for Centurion Compounding, Inc. Centurion, a marketing firm in Wesley Chapel, utilized sales representatives as independent contractors to market compounded medications, specifically creams for pain and scars, to health care benefit program beneficiaries. These creams had very high reimbursement rates, ranging from approximately $4,000 to $17,000 for a one-month supply. Centurion focused its promotional efforts on TRICARE beneficiaries based upon an understanding and belief that TRICARE would pay claims for these compounded creams. Centurion directed the prescriptions that it received for the patients its sales representatives had recruited to two compounding pharmacies: Lifecare Pharmacy and later Oldsmar Pharmacy. Centurion received approximately 50 percent of the after-cost amount of each claim paid by a health care benefit program to the pharmacy for each prescription filled. Centurion then paid its sales representatives a percentage of the paid claims it received from the pharmacies.
With the help of patient recruiter Barr, who was a U.S. Army reservist, Hill, Miller, and others working with them agreed to make, made, and caused to be made illegal kickbacks in the form of cash payments, doctor visit co-pays, meals, travel costs, and entertainment expenses to TRICARE beneficiaries to induce those beneficiaries to see doctors for the purpose of obtaining prescriptions for compounded creams marketed by Centurion and filled at Lifecare and later Oldsmar, resulting in commission payments to Centurion and its sales representatives, including the defendants.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the DEA. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mandy Riedel and Megan Kistler.