Two Sentenced In Connection With Sunshine Pharmacy Health Care Fraud
Fort Myers, Florida – United States District Judge John E. Steele today sentenced Delmer Holmes Parrish (44) and Patricia Parrish (74), both of Naples, for their roles in a conspiracy to commit health care fraud that operated from Sunshine Pharmacy in Naples, Florida. Delmer Holmes Parrish, a licensed Pharmacist, was sentenced to two years in federal prison. Patricia Parrish was sentenced three years of probation, to include 120 days of home confinement, and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. Both were also ordered to pay restitution to the United States in the amount of $351,358.14, the proceeds of the crime. Pursuant to their agreement, this amount was paid in full, immediately following the sentencing. As part of the plea agreement, Delmer Holmes Parrish also permanently relinquished his Pharmacist License to the State of Florida.
According to court documents, from in or around February 2009, through in or about July 2012, Delmer Holmes Parrish and Patricia Parrish participated in a conspiracy to defraud federal health care benefit programs out of approximately $351,358.14. Both, along with others, used Sunshine Pharmacy and Sunshine Solutions, both in Naples, to further their unlawful scheme to defraud the government. The co-conspirators submitted and caused claims to be submitted for reimbursement from the Medicaid, Medicare, and TRICARE programs for prescriptions not filled or provided to beneficiaries and recipients, including prescriptions for patients that had not been written or authorized by any duly licensed physician. In addition, the co-conspirators submitted and caused claims to be submitted for reimbursement for prescriptions for beneficiaries and recipients who were deceased. In carrying out the offenses, the conspirators also used the means of identification of individuals who were enrolled in the Medicaid, Medicare, or TRICARE programs without their knowledge or consent. The conspirators also took steps to hide and conceal the scheme to defraud. As a result of the scheme, the government was defrauded of approximately $351,358.14.
According to Brian Martens, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, in Tampa, “today’s sentencing, which is punctuated by the defendants’ having made 100% restitution to Medicare, clearly demonstrates the success of the Strike Force model.”
This case was brought as part of the Medicare Strike Force and was investigated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service; and the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Naples Police Department; Collier County Sheriff's Office; and the United States Secret Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David G. Lazarus.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,700 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5.5 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.