Trivillian's Pharmacy, owner charged with federal criminal healthcare and drug crimes
Butterfield agrees to settle civil claims to Medicare and Medicaid for $1.1 million
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin today announced that Trivillian’s Pharmacy, a long-standing Kanawha City retail and compounding pharmacy, was charged by information with two counts of health care fraud and one count of misbranding drugs.
Paula Butterfield, Trivillian’s owner, operator and pharmacist-in-charge, was also charged by information with making a false statement in a healthcare matter.
Goodwin also announced his office has reached a civil settlement with Trivilllian’s and Butterfield, recovering $1.1 million on behalf of Medicare and West Virginia Medicaid. The settlement represents more than three times the loss suffered by Medicare and Medicaid.
“Cheating Medicare and Medicaid is really cheating the American taxpayer,” Goodwin said. “Thanks to this settlement, money that was taken from the taxpayers by fraud can now be used to provide health care to the many people who depend on these programs.”
One information alleges that Trivillian’s defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by dispensing compounded drugs while billing for more expensive brand name drugs, dispensing generic drugs while billing for more expensive brand name drugs, billing for drugs that were never dispensed and dispensing drugs that were compounded outside of a safe and clean environment. The information also charges Trivillian’s with dispensing compounded drugs under labels and identification numbers associated with name brand drugs.
Butterfield, a Medicare beneficiary, is charged in a separate information with submitting false claims to Medicare on her own behalf, seeking payment for drugs that were never dispensed to her.
If convicted, the pharmacy faces a fine of up to $1 million or twice the gross financial gain or twice the gross financial loss resulting from the pharmacy’s conduct, whichever is greater; not less than two years nor more than 10 years of probation; a mandatory special assessment of $800; and an order of restitution.
If convicted, Butterfield faces a maximum of five years in prison; a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross financial gain or twice the gross financial loss resulting from her conduct, whichever is greater; a term of supervised release of three years; a mandatory special assessment of $100; and an order of restitution.
The investigation was conducted by United States Health and Human Services, the United States Food and Drug Administration, the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Assistant United States Attorney Eumi Choi is in charge of the prosecution, and Assistant United States Attorney John Gianola is responsible for the civil settlement.
An information is a formal court charge filed after the defendant has voluntarily waved their right to be indicted by a grand jury. The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.