Opioid Treatment Practice Owner Sentenced for Illegal Distribution of Buprenorphine and Health Care Fraud
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Washington, PA, was sentenced in federal court to three years of probation, with 90 days of home detention, 100 hours of community service, and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and $80,000 in restitution on charges of aiding and abetting the unlawful distribution of controlled substances and health care fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Jennifer Hess, 50, was sentenced by Senior or Chief United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Hess founded and owned Redirections Treatment Advocates LLC (RTA), an opioid treatment practice with offices in Washington and Bridgeville, PA and Morgantown, Weirton and Moundsville, West Virginia. Hess aided and abetted the illegal distribution of buprenorphine, also known as Subutex and Suboxone, by completing blank pre-signed prescriptions and/or forging doctors’ names on blank prescriptions. Hess also committed health care fraud for causing fraudulent claims to be submitted to Medicaid and Medicare for payments to cover the costs of the unlawfully prescribed buprenorphine.
Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar and Michael L. Ivory are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The investigation leading to the filing of charges in these cases was conducted by the Western Pennsylvania Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit (OFADU). The Western Pennsylvania OFADU, led by federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, combines the expertise and resources of federal and state law enforcement to address the role played by unethical medical professionals in the opioid epidemic.
The agencies which comprise the Western Pennsylvania OFADU include: Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General – Bureau of Narcotic Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office – Criminal Division, Civil Division and Asset Forfeiture Unit, Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General, Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations, U.S. Office of Personnel Management – Office of Inspector General and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Licensing.