We frequently hear the phrase “partners in crime” when it comes to multiple people pulling off an illegal act, but an article posted on NJ.com reports on twin “brothers in crime,” who stole $1.5 million from Medicaid. They pulled off the scam by illegally dispensing and billing for medication from their pharmacy.

According to court documents, the scheme was accomplished through several methods. The 70-year-old pharmacy owners and a co-conspirator, who was the “pharmacist-in-charge,” cheated customers and insurers by under-filling prescriptions, then billing Medicaid and other insurance companies as if the prescription was fully filled. The three also substituted generic drugs for brand-name drugs and billed for the higher priced drugs. The co-conspirators also requested outstanding refills without their patients’ knowledge and billed for the refills. The article states that the fraudsters bought prescription drugs back from their customers and reused the drugs to fill other patients’ prescriptions. Then they billed for the full amount of the prescription. (These guys certainly had a variety of scams going on. Kudos to the investigators who were able to track down the multiple methods of fraud.)

Both brothers pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud and were each sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for bilking their customers and the government. One brother agreed to forfeit nearly $850,000, while the other brother will pay more than $550,000 in restitution. The 49-year-old “pharmacist-in-charge” pleaded guilty to illegally dispensing oxycodone. He is awaiting sentencing.

These twin brothers have probably spent most of their lives sharing things. (That includes toys, probably a childhood bedroom and most recently, the ownership of their pharmacy.) One thing they probably were not counting on was sharing a prison sentence. (I’m pretty sure they will not be serving out their time in the same cell.) Having some time apart from each other will give them each a chance to review their crimes and reflect on how they are each individually responsible for their own actions.

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