Three charged in $180 million health-care fraud scheme

Three charged in $180 million health-care fraud scheme
The indictment accuses the three men of conspiring and engaging in a scheme to defraud several health care benefit programs of more than $180 million between September 2011 and January 2016. (Source: Gray News)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Indictments against three people charged in a more than $180 million health-care fraud scheme were unsealed Friday.

The United States Attorney’s Office announced 54-year-old Mitchell “Chad” Barrett, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., 41-year-old David “Jason” Rutland, of Bolton, Miss., and 56-year-old Thomas “Tommy” Shoemaker, of Rayville, La., were charged on May 27 in the Southern District of Mississippi.

The indictment accuses the three men of conspiring and engaging in a scheme to defraud several health-care benefit programs of more than $180 million between September 2011 and January 2016.

According to the indictment, Barrett, Rutland and Shoemaker billed Medicare, TRICARE and private insurance companies for fraudulent and medically unnecessary compound medications. They are accused of using several pharmacies to do so, including Gluckstadt Special Care Pharmacy and Compounding LLC, World Health Industries Inc., Opus Rx LLC, and Rx Pro Pharmacy and Compounding LLC.

Prosecutors allege that the three men also conspired and engaged in a scheme to pay kickbacks and bribes to marketers, physicians and other medical providers and beneficiaries to refer, prescribe and receive prescriptions for the compound medications, some of which contained controlled substances.

The indictment alleges they laundered the proceeds by conducting monetary transactions of more than $10,000, which included the purchase of assets such as real estate, luxury automobiles, a three-caret diamond and other expensive goods.

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