Recently, it seems that the federal government has been closely scrutinizing the actions of several pharmacy and compound pharmacy companies and has brought federal charges against many of these owners. They have been charged with a variety of federal crimes, including money laundering, healthcare fraud, and tax evasion. In one recent matter, nine individuals, including three compound pharmacy owners, were sentenced for their roles in defrauding the Department of Labor Worker’s Compensation Program, among other entities. Their sentences ranged from 6 months to 20 years in prison. In another matter, an owner of two compounding pharmacies in California was sentenced to three years in federal prison for evading paying about $5.5 million in taxes and submitting false claims for reimbursement to CVS Caremark. Another individual who owned compound pharmacies in Texas was convicted but has not yet been sentenced on charges of paying illegal marketing kickbacks as well as charges of money laundering. He faces a potential sentence of up to 10 years. And very recently, a New York man pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud Medicare and Medicaid for more than $25 million for medically unnecessary prescriptions induced by kickbacks and bribes. He faces a maximum sentence of up to ten years. These penalties can be extremely harsh and are in many instances are affected by the amount of loss that is determined to be caused by their involvement in the crime. While all of the crimes have statutory maximums, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”) also play a big part in determining the particular sentence a person might receive. Although the Guidelines are only advisory and only one factor a federal trial judge must consider when fashioning a sentence, they play a big part in the sentencing process. One factor that comes into play in these sentences and is set forth in the Guidelines is the amount of loss that was involved in the crime. The greater the amount of loss associated with the crime, the greater the advisory sentence under the Guidelines.
When under investigation, it is important to follow the advice of your attorney and not speak about the alleged crimes over social media. LGR Law, LLC’s federal criminal defense attorneys have the essential skills to protect your legal rights. Should you or a loved one receive any indication that you are a target of a federal investigation, contact Lorraine Gauli-Rufo and the attorneys at LGR Law immediately. (973) 239-4300, www.lgrlawgroup.com, [email protected]