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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 9, 2016

18 Facing Charges Related to Health Care Fraud and Prescription Pill Distribution Ring

PITTSBURGH – Eighteen individuals have been charged in 13 indictments for their role in a large-scale health care fraud and prescription pill distribution scheme, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today. The separate, but related, indictments, returned Tuesday and unsealed today, charge the defendants with drug distribution, health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The indictments allege that the defendants obtained prescription painkillers paid for by government-funded health care programs and then sold their pills for cash. The buyers then redistributed the pills to addicts.

The grand jury returned an 11-count superseding indictment charging the following six defendants:

Mark Coleman, 37, of Pittsburgh, Pa.;
Jeremiah Davidson, 60, of Pittsburgh, Pa.;
Kavon Dawkins, 23, of Clinton Twp., Michigan;
Tevina Harris, 22, of Pittsburgh, Pa.;
Nicole Miller, 29, of formerly Pittsburgh, Pa. and currently incarcerated; and
William Richardson, formerly Pittsburgh, Pa., 15212 and currently incarcerated.

According to the superseding indictment, Coleman, Davidson, Dawkins, Harris, Miller and Richardson conspired to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone from August 2014 to June 2016. Harris and Richardson are charged with possession with intent to distribute oxymorphone on August 6, 2014 and August 14, 2014; and with possession with intent to distribute oxycodone on August 12, 2014. Davidson is charged with conspiracy to defraud UPMC Health Plan by selling prescription medications he obtained for himself. Richardson is charged with conspiracy to defraud health care benefit programs from March 2016 to May 2016 by obtaining, through false pretenses, prescription medication prescribed for others and paid for by their health care plans. The indictment also charges Richardson with defrauding UPMC Health Plan, Envision Rx Plus, and Gateway Health by receiving prescription medications for himself and selling them, and for paying individuals for prescription medications issued in their names and selling their medications. Richardson is also charged with possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone on August 15, 2014. The indictment further alleges that on August 15, 2014, Richardson was in possession of six firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Finally, the indictment alleges Richardson, a convicted felon who has 11 prior convictions for crimes punishable by more than a year in prison, illegally possessed five firearms on August 15, 2014. Federal law prohibits an individual who has been convicted of a felony from possessing a firearm.

A five-count indictment charges Angela Vernon, 65, of Pittsburgh, Pa., with defrauding UPMC Health Plan and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone.

A four-count indictment charges Antoinette Adair, 48, of Pittsburgh, Pa., with defrauding Envision Insurance Company and conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone.

A four-count indictment charges James Roberson, 61, of Pittsburgh, Pa., with defrauding UPMC Health Plan and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone and oxymorphone.

A three-count indictment charges Jacqueline Bauer, 33, of Gibsonia, Pa., with defrauding UPMC Health Plan and conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone.

A three-count indictment charges Mildred Rainey, 60, of Pittsburgh, Pa., with conspiracy to defraud health care insurance companies and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

A three-count indictment charges Marion Randolph, 62, of Pittsburgh, Pa., with defrauding Aetna, Inc. and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

A two-count indictment charges Teresa Bernardi, 54, of Pittsburgh, Pa., with conspiracy to defraud health care insurance companies and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

A two-count indictment charges Donna Swigart, 53, of Ford City, Pa., with defrauding Gateway Health and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone.

A two-count indictment charges Jeannette Smith, 53, of Ford City, with defrauding Gateway Health and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone.

A two-count indictment charges John Zurich, 40, of North Versailles, Pa., with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of controlled substances.

A one-count indictment charges Jennifer Troy, 40, of Gibsonia, Pa., with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone.

A one-count indictment charges Chani Watkins, 25, of Coraopolis, Pa., with conspiracy with intent to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of these defendants.

Topic(s): 
Healthcare Fraud
Updated December 10, 2016