Published On: Wed, Sep 19th, 2018

Mississippi: Pharmacist Marco Moran pleads guilty in $22 million fraud scheme

Marco Bisa Hawkins Moran, 45, of Raymond, pled guilty Thursday before U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett to a Criminal Information outlining his role in a more than $22 million dollar scheme to defraud TRICARE, the health care benefit program serving our nation’s military, veterans, and their respective family members, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Freeze, IRS-Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas Jay Holloman, III, and Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s Southeast Field Office.

Spell will be sentenced by Judge Starrett on November 27, 2018, at 9:45 a.m.

From approximately May 2014 through January 2016, Moran co-owned and operated Medworx Compounding, LLC inMadison County, Mississippi, and Custom Care Pharmacy, LLC in Hinds County, Mississippi. During this time, Moran and other co-conspirators mass-produced high-yield compounded medications on behalf of the pharmacies. Rather than formulating compounded medications based on the individualized needs of patients, formulas were selected to maximize profit based upon reimbursements from TRICARE and other health care benefit programs.

photo/ Public domain pictures via Pixabay

Moran’s pharmacies submitted fraudulent claims to TRICARE and other health care benefit programs. In order to further their scheme, Moran and his co-conspirators took measures to conceal their waiver of beneficiary copayments from TRICARE and other health care benefit programs. Acting on behalf of Medworx and Custom Care, Moran and his co-conspirators paid kickbacks and bribes to marketers and physicians in order to obtain prescriptions for compounded medications from prescribers for beneficiaries who were covered by the most lucrative health care benefit programs, including TRICARE, irrespective of whether the compounded medications were medically necessary for the treatment of beneficiaries.

As a result of this fraudulent activity, Medworx and Custom Care submitted fraudulent claims to TRICARE and other health care benefit programs totaling approximately $22,068,144.00.

This case has been designated as a related prosecution to cases charged earlier this year in the Southern District of Mississippi. Thomas Edward Spell, Jr., a licensed pharmacist, pled guilty on August 9, 2018, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud regarding a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs, including TRICARE, of more than $243 million. To date, a total of 12 people have been charged and 9 convicted in the compounding pharmacy scheme in the Southern

District of Mississippi. The investigation is ongoing and prosecutions are occurring nationwide to include California, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Connecticut.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mary Helen Wall and U.S. Department of Justice trial attorneys Katherine Payerle and Sean Welsh.

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