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Mississippi pharmacist pleads guilty to conspiracy in fraud scheme

David “Jason” Rutland to be sentenced in November for role in health-care scam
Another pharmacist pleads guilty in long-running, health-care swindle.
Another pharmacist pleads guilty in long-running, health-care swindle.(Storyblocks)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 10:48 AM CDT
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From the Office of the United States Attorney

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDAM) – A Mississippi pharmacist pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud TRICARE as well as private insurance companies.

According to court documents, David “Jason” Rutland, 42, of Bolton, a pharmacist and co-owner of various compounding pharmacies, admitted paying kickbacks to distributors for the referral of medically unnecessary compounded prescription medications that were ultimately dispensed by his pharmacies.

The conduct allegedly resulted in more than $180 million in fraudulent billings, including more than $50 million paid by federal healthcare programs such as TRICARE, which primarily caters to United States military personnel and veterans.

Rutland pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and solicit, receive, offer and pay illegal kickbacks, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 30.

The long-running fraud, which at least one judge called the largest scam in Mississippi history, took place between 2011 and 2016.

Anchored in the Pine Belt, the scheme spread nation-wide, with tentacles reaching into California, Utah, Florida and Tennessee.

At the heart of the swindle were expensive, compounded pain creams that were often medically unnecessary. Those taking part in the scheme collected insurance reimbursements and other health plan payments

Those involved included pharmacists, doctors, nurses and drug store owners.

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