Local Pharmacist Sentenced to One Year and Three Months for Health Care Fraud and Campaign Contribution Fraud
Also Enters into $300,000 Civil Settlement Agreement for Healthcare Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 17, 2009|
LOUISVILLE, KY—Brian Ullom, age 38, of Louisville, Kentucky, in Jefferson County, was sentenced in federal court in Louisville, Kentucky to one year and three months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution today for health care fraud and making illegal campaign contributions, Acting United States Attorney Candace G. Hill of the Western District of Kentucky announced today. In June 2007, Ullom pleaded guilty to billing for prescriptions that were never filled and for illegally selling prescription drug samples, and for illegally making campaign contributions in the names of others through Rouben’s Pharmacy in Louisville.
As part of the plea agreement, Ullom agreed to forfeit $250,000 (which was paid prior to imposition of today’s sentence). Ullom also paid $1.6 million of the restitution into court prior to final sentencing. Ullom has agreed to pay the remaining $450,000 in criminal restitution within nine (9) months.
As part of Ullom’s sentence, he was ordered to serve three years’ supervised release following his incarceration. There is no parole in the federal judicial system.
In pleading guilty, Ullom admitted that, beginning in 2002 and continuing through October 2006, he sold, purchased, and traded prescription drug samples to the public. During that time, Ullom obtained prescription drug samples by purchasing the drug samples from others, including a local physician and a pharmaceutical company sales representative. After obtaining the drug samples, Ullom, with the help of others, removed the drug samples from their original sample packaging and sold the drug samples to the public through his pharmacy, operating as Rouben’s Pharmacy. At the time of each sale of the drug samples, Ullom knew that the drugs were drug samples and resold the drugs with the intent to defraud and misled the purchaser by selling the sample drugs as drugs properly obtained and dispensed. Moreover, around the time of each sale, Ullom billed the patient and the patient’s insurance provider, including Medicare and Medicaid, for the drug samples.
Ullom also admitted that he had billed insurance companies for prescriptions that were never filled. Specifically, beginning in 2001 and continuing through October 12, 2006, Ullom, along with others, knowingly, and with the intent to defraud, billed healthcare benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, for prescriptions that were never filled.
Furthermore, Ullom had pled guilty to knowingly and willfully making campaign contributions to “Tony Miller for Congress” in the name of seven other persons beginning on October 21, 2004, and continuing until October 28, 2004. In each instance, at Ullom’s request, an individual, or a “straw” contributor, made a $2,000 campaign contribution to “Tony Miller for Congress.” Ullom, the real contributor, in turn, reimbursed the “straw” contributor the entire $2,000 contribution with checks drawn from his business, Rueben’s Pharmacy. In total, Ullom contributed $14,000 to “Tony Miller for Congress” in the name of seven other people in violation of 2 United States Code 441f, 437g(D).
Regarding the fraudulent campaign contributions, Acting United States Attorney Hill stated that the charge came up during the criminal healthcare fraud investigation of Ullom and that there were no other violations brought to the attention of federal authorities. Consequently, there is no further investigation of this criminal matter.
Today, Ullom also entered into a settlement agreement requiring him to pay $300,000 to resolve the United States’ potential civil claims in connection with the above-described healthcare fraud.
The criminal case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lettricea Jefferson-Webb and Eric Long, and it was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration - Office of Criminal Investigations, and the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. The civil matter was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Jay Gilbert, Ben Schecter and Joe Ansari.