Miami, Florida – A Washington man was sentenced yesterday to over eight years in federal prison for defrauding Tricare of approximately $19.4 million through a South Florida compounding pharmacy fraud scheme. Tricare is the health care benefit program for the United States Department of Defense.
Jonah Miller, 48, of Shoreline, Washington, pleaded guilty on July 15, to one count of conspiring to commit health care fraud. Miller recruited Tricare beneficiaries to order expensive, medically unnecessary compound drugs from a Broward pharmacy. In furtherance of the scheme, Miller paid doctors to approve pre-printed prescriptions for excessive amounts of the expensive drugs without regard to the beneficiaries’ actual medical needs. Investigation revealed that the drugs were formulated to maximize profit without legitimate therapeutic value. Miller’s fraudulent referrals caused an actual loss to the Tricare program of approximately $19.4 million. In exchange for the referrals, Miller personally received over $4.9 million from the pharmacy. In addition to the prison sentence, the Court imposed restitution in the amount of approximately $19.4 million and a forfeiture judgment of approximately $4.9 million.
Acting U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez of the Southern District of Florida; Special Agent in Charge Cynthia A. Bruce, Southeast Field Office of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS); and Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI Miami made the announcement.
The DCIS and FBI Miami investigated the case, with assistance from the Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon Juenger prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daren Grove is handling the asset forfeiture component of the case.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.