More Defendants Sentenced in Health Care Fraud Scheme
Pharmacist and Pharmacy Tech Were Sentenced in Scheme Involving Buying and Selling Prescription Drug Samples
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 03, 2009|
LOUISVILLE, KY—Joseph Ivan Rouben, age 80, and George Deusner, age 58, both of Louisville, Kentucky in Jefferson County, were sentenced on September 2, 2009, on charges of health care fraud and prohibited drug acts by Judge Thomas B. Russell, United States Attorney Candace G. Hill of the Western District of Kentucky announced today.
During their plea, the men admitted that between 2003 and 2006 they were engaged in the sale or trading of prescription drug samples and health care fraud. Rouben was a pharmacist and the prior owner at Rouben’s Pharmacy, while George Deusner, was employed as a pharmacy technician at Rouben's Pharmacy. Rouben and Deusner purchased, and later sold prescription drug samples to patients of the pharmacy. In addition, Deusner assisted in the removal of the sample drugs from their sample packages. Both admitted that the purchased sample drugs were later sold by the pharmacy.
During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Deusner had been paid by the current pharmacy owner, Brian Ullom, $171,660 for his role in assisting with the purchase and later sale of the samples. Rouben was paid $58,090 by the current pharmacy owner, Brian Ullom, for his role. Once the sample drugs were purchased, they were removed from their sample packaging and placed in the pharmacy's inventory. These samples were later sold to consumers, whose insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, were billed full price. At today's sentencing hearing, Deusner received a sentence of two years' probation. He previously agreed to forfeit the $171,660 he received from the scheme. Rouben received a sentence of two years’ probation, and was ordered to pay a fine of $2,000. An agreed money judgment was entered in the amount of $58,090.
The owner of the pharmacy, Brian Ullom, was sentenced on August 17, 2009, to 15 months’ imprisonment. Ullom was ordered to pay $2.3 million in criminal restitution and $300,000 as part of a civil settlement. Another defendant, Robert Nold, a physician who was selling drug samples to the pharmacy, was sentenced to two years’ probation. A fifth defendant, Michael Carney, a pharmaceutical representative, is scheduled to be sentenced on October 7, 2009, before Judge Russell for his role in the scheme.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lettricea Jefferson-Webb, and it was investigated by the United States Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.